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The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (The Mysterious Benedict Society) Hardcover – April 10, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Trenton Lee Stewart has written a prequel (Little, Brown, 2012) to his "The Mysterious Benedict Society" series with the titular character being a narcoleptic plagued by nightmares as well as a genius with an eidetic memory. Nine-year-old Nicholas is transferred to a new orphanage called Child's End. The children there are mistreated and the orphanage is poorly run, but Nicholas also learns that the former owner had a treasure which both Nicholas and the orphanage director believe is hidden in the house or on the grounds. While avoiding bullies, Nicholas puts his talents to work to find the treasure before the director. The minor characters, like the orphanage staff, are colorful. Nicholas's first friend, John Cole, is the true role model here-gutsy and self-sacrificing. Nicholas finally learns to put others first and uses his many gifts to save the orphanage and improve the conditions. Del Roy's voice is warm and gravelly, but may not compensate for the slow pacing, plodding story line, and an unlikely climax. While the story stands alone, it will primarily appeal to those already invested in the series.-C.A. Fehmel, St. Louis County Library, MOα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
* "Gives readers a reason to fall in love with the series all over again...[with] adventures, danger, cleverness, dry wit, and good-hearted characters at the center of the action."―Booklist, starred review
"Stewart fills in the back story on the narcoleptic genius founder of the Mysterious Benedict Society...[with]...admirable insight."―Kirkus Reviews
"Fans will be thrilled with the rich backstory of a beloved character."―School Library Journal
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The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict is the prequel to the three Mysterious Benedict Society books. Instead of many puzzles to solve, there is one huge puzzle in this book. It is fun to try to solve it along with Nicholas. The story is engaging and though it is written for children, it is enjoyable for adults as well. My 8 and 10 year old sons loved it, as did I. I highly recommend this book to people of all ages, but read the other three Mysterious Benedict Society books first!
Anyway. I read the MBS series and thought they were good. A little hard to get into sometimes, but my sons love them and have read them multiple times. But then they persuaded me to set aside my grownup fare and read THIS book, insisting it was Stewart's best yet. I read the first chapter and found that I couldn't put it down. It has a narrative pace that is much more compelling than the MBS books. Its characters are more real. Its plot has neatly executed intricacies that satisfy. Its message is uplifting and inspiring.
I agree with my sons -- this is Trenton Lee Stewart's best work thus far! And now if I were to meet him again, I would have plenty to say to him, including to express my hope that it has been submitted to the Newbery committee. It is every bit as good as Louis Sachar's "Holes"; in fact I like it even more because of its power to make me want to be better, kinder -- to use my gifts to help those I care about, like Nicholas Benedict.
BRAVO, MR. STEWART!
Most recent customer reviews
One the best books I have ever read
I have read the other books and they were just as fantastic
Hope every one else liked this book as much as I do