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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
"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
Top Customer Reviews
The author does use some stereotypical characters for the bullies and the staff at the orphanage, but somehow I was not bothered in the least by this as I got pulled into the mystery. The descriptive language may be a bit much for some, but I enjoyed the pictures it painted in my mind. Most children (and some adults) will need a dictionary close by when reading this book. I have to say I wasn't expecting to run across the words "vouchsafe" or "ebullient" in a children's book. This is book for a confident reader, not for a child who just switched to chapter books. It's also a lot of fun for an adult like me who refuses to grow up.
Although Nicholas is only 9 in this book, he comes across as much older due to his intellect and insight. I found myself wishing I was as smart as this precocious child. Nicholas looks at the world in wonder, and you will find yourself looking for patterns and being more observant of your surroundings after reading this book. Simple objects may have uses you haven't thought of yet. The story is set in an old mansion that was turned into an orphanage and I'm still wishing I could find a manor to explore after finishing the book.
In the beginning of the book Nicholas is quite cynical for his young age, which is to be expected when one considers what he has been through.Read more ›
I won't say anything more... wouldn't want to spoil the fun for you. Just read it yourself and see.
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.
The answers to those questions --- not to mention a rollicking good mystery plot --- lie at the center of THE EXTRAORDINARY EDUCATION OF NICHOLAS BENEDICT, a prequel to Trenton Lee Stewart's three previous novels and a thoroughly entertaining story in its own right.
When we first meet the nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict, he is on his way to a new orphanage, one that promises to manage his narcolepsy and its attendant night terrors better than his previous lodgings. Nicholas, whose prodigious intellect and impeccable memory belie his childlike optimism, wants to believe that this new location will offer him a new beginning, away from the bullying and cruelty he has encountered at his previous schools.
Far from a fresh start, however, Rothschild's End (or "Child's End," as it is known) seems to provide an even worse environment. Before he even arrives, Nicholas, who looks younger than he actually is, is targeted by the resident gang, known as the Spiders. And Mr. Collum, the head of the school, seems to think that only the most draconian measures --- which include bricking in Nicholas's window and locking his door from the outside --- can save our narcoleptic hero from himself. Even worse, Nicholas is barred from utilizing the school's amazing library, which is "the most exciting spectacle of his life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got the series of Nicholas Benedict books for my son. He enjoys them very much. The story line does not disappoint.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
You need not gave read the Benedict Society to enjoy this prequel. I am a fan and was really looking forward to this read and so glad I did! Read morePublished 2 months ago by T.
An entirely diffrent story but still a fun adventure though it shows how Mr. Benedict got his money. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Adam Kradel
I first heard about the Mysterious Benedict Society on Diane Rehm's Back Seat Book Club. The conversation that day was really interesting, so I picked up the book and read it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Courtenay E. Grabowski
A peek into the past of the beloved Mr. Benedict! Young Nicholas is quirky and engaging. I loved getting to read his story. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kelsey McAtee
Very cute and compelling story. Bit if a pat ending, but still worth the read. Now we just need stories for Number Two and Rhonda!Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is awesome, in fact I would say that it is the best in the series!Published 4 months ago by Kaitlin