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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,017 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 1, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 5–7—What was supposed to have been a reunion with Mr. Benedict turns into trouble for the four young heroes of The Mysterious Benedict Society (Little, Brown, 2007). Mr. Benedict and his assistant Number 2 have been kidnapped by the evil Mr. Curtain while abroad, so Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance set off to rescue him, aided by a set of clues Mr. Benedict left before his abduction. Adventure and danger await the four onboard an unusual ship, at a castle in Portugal, in the Netherlands, and finally on a mysterious island, where they fall into the hands of Mr. Curtain and his henchmen. It is a combination of courage and their amazing talents that allows the youngsters to squeak out of every predicament. The action takes a while to get going in earnest as more attention is given to the worries and thoughts of the children and to their interactions with the various helpful, eccentric, or nasty adults they meet in their travels. They also learn to understand themselves and one another a little better by the end of their harrowing journey. As a result, this is not just a rip-roaring adventure with plenty of clever twists and hair's-breadth escapes, but also a warm and satisfying tale about friendship.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
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From Booklist

The daring foursome from the well-received The Mysterious Benedict Society (2007) returns in a second perilous adventure. As the book opens, the children reunite at Mr. Benedict’s home, where he has arranged a treasure hunt. Alas, they discover that Benedict and his assistant are being held captive somewhere, and dire consequences will result if Benedict’s evil twin doesn’t receive the information he desires in four days. The children undertake a worldwide journey to save Benedict and find the duskwort that will cure his narcolepsy. Lots of backstory is needed to set up this sequel, which makes for a choppy beginning. In the previous book, the protagonist’s personal stories provided heft, but this is pure adventure—lots of racing, scheming, fighting. Punches are pulled on the violence front, but the threat is always there, creating page-turning tension. It’s this roller coaster, along with the essential goodness of the characters (except, perhaps, for Constance), that will draw kids to this breathless follow-up. Grades 4-7. --Ilene Cooper

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: The Mysterious Benedict Society (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316057800
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,017 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,747,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew T. Carpenter on June 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read to my two sons, age 8 and 9 every night. I was looking for something just a little bit different. Typically they like illustrations to flesh out the narrative, like in the Moomintroll books or Here Be Monsters. The Mysterious Benedict Society is not (alas!) profusely illustrated so when we started it they sort of passively lay back in their beds to listen. By about the 4th page they were sitting up and by the end of the first chapter they were draped over my shoulders reading the pages with me. This book is absolutely captivating for young kids! We would pause while reading to see if we could work out what would happen next or how a knotty problem was overcome; my sons were absorbecd from beginning to end. Children can easily see themselves as the protagonists amd they love to try to figure out the puzzles. Mr. Stewart wants you to try to solve the mysteries with his characters and his writing sparkles with wit and humor. I certainly hope he has more childrens' books for us in the future. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
This book caught my eye as I was leaving the library yesterday. I had been continuously studing for days and needed a fictional break. After some odd looks from the librarian ( I guess most college students don't check out philosophy books and children's mystery novels at the same time) I went to my car and began to read. To my surprise, I was reluctant to put it down to drive home. This book is so creative, wonderful, and so many other adjectives that I can't think of right now. There was so much in this book that I could identify with, and I found myself wishing that I was 11 again so I wouldn't have been able to read it so quickly. Bravo Mr. Stewart! Reymie, Sticky, Constance, the Great Kate Weather Machine, and Mr. Benedict have become some of my favorite charaters of all time and I can only hope that we might someday have another adventure together. I recommend this book for Gifted Children of any age, for there are truly many special oppertunities inside.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Mysterious Benedict Society, a group of four children created to thwart the plans of the evil genius Ledroptha Curtain, is fresh off their great victory. The "brainswept" are slowly having their memories returned and everything seems like it should be getting back to normal. It should be the perfect happy ending, yet happy endings are rarely so simple...

All is not well for the Mysterious Benedict Society. Reynie, still shaken by the previous adventures, finds himself having nightmares of being surrounded by snakes. A conversation with Mr. Benedict did little to ease his growing fears that wickedness is something to be generally expected of people. Kate has been living largely on her own wits for the past six months (Milligan largely off doing secret agent work) and Sticky has had trouble convincing his parents that he should be allowed to go to college. As for three-year-old Constance, she continues to struggle with being a young child genius, while the government refuses to even properly acknowledge her existence so she can be adopted by Mr. Benedict.

The group comes together again with the promise of experiencing a great surprise created by Mr. Benedict, but then learns something horrifying. Both Benedict and Number Two have captured by Curtain and his minions -- now going by the name "the Ten Man" -- for the ten different ways they have of torturing people. The only solution may be to follow through with Mr. Benedict's surprise -- an adventure he planned for them that may now be their only way to save him. So, once again, danger and thrills are promised, but also a great read and satisyfing adventure.

The book jacket states that the author, Trenton Lee Stewart, is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop.
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Format: Hardcover
I just loved this book. From start to finish it was flat out great. The characters were all interesting and deep (as opposed to superficial cliches), and the plot had some clever twists and neat puzzles. It was fun solving those puzzles along with the characters, too. So if you're looking for a fun read that's not about magic and dragons (as way too many kids books today are), I highly recommend The Mysterious Benedict Society! I can't wait for the sequel.
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Format: Hardcover
The first reviewer, Toria Leigh, said it all. This is a very good read! The only change needed is the listed reading level. Being a senior citizen and having read thousands of books, I feel qualified to say that the reading level should be 9 to 99 rather than 9 to 12. Good job, Mr. Stewart! Your children's book is superior to most of the "adult" fiction on the market!
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Format: Hardcover
I was working at the children's department of a major bookstore back when HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE was first published in the U.S. You might not remember that the first two Harry Potter books were released here without much fanfare. Back then, there were no 12-million-copy print runs or midnight sales --- just a book, sitting there on the shelves, ripe for discovery. And discover it we did, setting off a word-of-mouth excitement that spread among the staff and customers, presaging the frenzy that would soon envelope practically the entire world.

As I began to read THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY, I felt a similar sense of discovery and excitement at finding something new, different and very well done. Trenton Lee Stewart's first novel for children is packed with puzzles, mysteries and wordplay, not to mention a great story. I mean, what could be more thrilling than four kids whose mission is literally to save the world?

THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY does share some similarities with J. K. Rowling's celebrated series --- a tight group of friends (who don't always get along), absent parents, a school setting --- but it combines these elements with a whimsical, tongue-in-cheek style that will appeal to Lemony Snicket fans and an emphasis on puzzle-solving that will draw in readers who enjoy Blue Balliett's art-related mysteries.

The four central characters of the novel are thrown together when they respond to a mysterious newspaper advertisement that reads "ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD LOOKING FOR SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES?" Following a grueling series of exams, only four children qualify to be sent on a special mission.
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