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The Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict's Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums Hardcover – October 11, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review



Author Interview: Trenton Lee Stewart Interviews Mr. Benedict
Trenton Lee Stewart

Trenton Lee Stewart, author of The Mysterious Benedict Society series, recently sat down with Mr. Nicholas Benedict, the esteemed scientist and intelligence expert, to discuss his new books.

Trenton Lee Stewart: Welcome, Mr. Benedict!

Mr. Benedict: Thank you indeed. Now, why don't we begin with your interest in riddles?

Stewart: My interest? Um, well ... I suppose I've always been drawn to constructive trickery. Riddles, jokes, stories--all these things depend on deception and surprise, yet they also depend on a shared understanding with the audience. Riddles are meant to be solved, just as stories and jokes are meant to be heard. So the successful ones are a sort of collaboration between--sorry, am I going on too long?

Mr. Benedict: [closing his pocket watch] Not at all. Please continue.

Stewart: Let me back up. As a child, I adored a chapter in The Hobbit called "Riddles in the Dark," in which the hero's life depends upon winning a riddle contest... but I feel silly telling you this, Mr. Benedict. You had to solve a real mystery as a boy--when you were a young orphan with narcolepsy, no less--and the stakes were significant. [Smiling at the reader] I give a full account of it in my next book, The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict.

Mr. Benedict: [nodding] A perfectly competent account.

Stewart: Perfectly... competent? Not... not brilliant?

Mr. Benedict: [yawning] Oh, I'm sure it is. And now, a thousand pardons, but I'm afraid I must go.

Stewart: Already? Go where?

Mr. Benedict: [eyelids drooping] To sleep.

Stewart: [catching Mr. Benedict as he slumps forward] Oh, right--the narcolepsy. I guess this, um, concludes our interview, then? Mr. Benedict? Shall I take that snore as a yes?



A Look Inside The Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict's Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums
(Click on Images to Enlarge)


A special message from Mr. Benedict

An elusive enigma worthy of a Society Member



Rules of the Society and a Member Bio

Two perplexing puzzles compiled by Mr. Benedict


Review

Praise for The Mysterious Benedict Society:
-A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
-Winner of the E.B. White Read Aloud Award
-A Today show Al's Book Club for Kids Pick
- Received critical praise, including four starred reviews

Praise for The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey:
* A rip-roaring adventure with plenty of clever twists and hair's-breadth escapes... [and] a warm and satisfying tale about friendship."―School Library Journal (starred review)

Praise for The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma:
"Fresh and frightfully funny."―School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 890 (What's this?)
  • Series: The Mysterious Benedict Society
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 Reprint edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316181935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316181938
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

TRENTON LEE STEWART is author of the award-winning, New York Times bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series and the adult novel Flood Summer. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In three exciting novels, Trenton Lee Stewart has introduced readers to the Mysterious Benedict Society, a group of whip-smart kids and a few talented adults who overcome evil --- and outsmart evil-doers. Now, in MR. BENEDICT'S BOOK OF PERPLEXING PUZZLES, ELUSIVE ENIGMAS, AND CURIOUS CONUNDRUMS, readers have their own chance to, as the introduction suggests, "see their own wits tested, much as the wits of the Society members were tested before the Society was formed."

This new hardcover book offers readers plenty of opportunities to do just that, with classic games such as secret codes and "spot the difference" puzzles, as well as unusual mazes, visual and spatial puzzles, and games involving words and math. Like the Mysterious Benedict Society, solving all these puzzles would require a particularly well-rounded set of skills. The good news is that the book also offers clues in the back, to help get young puzzle-solvers on the right track without giving away the answers. Some may also benefit from being worked on in pairs or as a team --- just as they do in the Mysterious Benedict Society!

Scattered throughout the full-color volume are quotes from the original novels as well as dossiers on its most notable characters. It's unlikely, though, that readers not already familiar with the Mysterious Benedict Society books will be drawn to this puzzle compendium. For one thing, some of the puzzles require at least a basic knowledge of the characters involved. Diana Sudyka's detailed illustrations do an admirable job of evoking, if not quite capturing, Carson Ellis's original drawings for the series.

The difficulty of the puzzles varies; some may be solved almost immediately, while others involve multiple steps or significant investment of time.
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Format: Hardcover
As an adult who has read Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society series with pleasure, I was hesitant to pick up this rather slim book of puzzles. But those of us grown ups who are reading Stewart's books for our own enjoyment know that puzzles are FUN, and many of those presented in this companion volume are difficult enough to give me pause (and some frustration, too. Lots of fun to be had here.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 6- and 9-year olds fight over this book. They are able to solve some puzzles by themselves, and some with my help (and a few, I admit I had to flip to the back for hints). Some of them are quite clever. My only beef with this book is that it contains a lot of filler - e.g., quotes from the series, character descriptions.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I plan to give this to my daughter for Christmas (she loved all three MBS novels, & is looking forward to the upcoming "prequel") but I couldn't resist skimming through the book myself before hiding it. Bear in mind, this is not another story, but a collection of brain-teasers in the same vein as those solved by the young heroes of the Benedict books, and featuring the characters themselves, along with other scattered "biographical" snippets. It looks like fun; I believe that my daughter will enjoy the challenges as well as the tie-ins to one of her favorite series. Might even be enjoyable for readers who haven't read the books and inspire them to check out the stories, or just as a stand-alone, but I think it's most suitable as a companion book for someone familiar with the characters. Just don't expect any advancement of the ongoing Benedict saga. Recommended overall.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We purchased this book for our daughter who really enjoyed the "Mysterious Benedict Society" series. She has spent hours during car rides and downtime working on the puzzles. They are challenging, not dumbed down. We highly recommend this book, if you have a child who enjoys the challenge of various types of puzzles.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brain teasers and puzzles will keep your little fan's mind working for hours and hours. Some puzzles seem even a bit TOO hard, but it's a great partner to the books that will make the reader feel like they're a part of the society for a while.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is full of many hard and challenging word puzzles, which were very fun to solve.

They tied in nicely and are especially fun for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society series. I enjoyed solving these puzzles, some of which took more time than others. I also liked the fact that there were hints to help you solve the puzzle when things got a little tricky.

I would recommend this book to any middle school age student with a love of puzzles (ages 10 - 13).

Review by Young Mensan Adam A., age 13
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really liked being able to solve these puzzle. Some of them were more challenging than others and some I just couldn't get. I really wished that there were answers though.
This is by a girl not Randall.
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