I recently finished the book The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. This novel is 512 pages and is realistic fiction. I chose to read this book because it looked really interesting and different than most books I normally read.
This book is about a young boy named Reynie Muldoon. Reynie is an orphan whose closest thing to a mother is his tutor, Ms. Perumal. He never really fit in with the other kids at the orphanage and was even teased by some. He finally found some real friends when he found a flyer that read “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities” and took the test that the flyer was referring to. The tests were weird and very different tests Reynie has taken before and each one lead to meeting Mr. Benedict and becoming members of his society.
While reading this novel I was surprised about what happened after some of the tests. It seemed while taking them some kids passed without getting all of the answers right and at the beginning of the first test it said that all the answers had to be right to pass. This surprised me because if acceptance didn’t depend on correct answers, what did it depend on?
I really liked how the author gave the 3 kids taking the test different abilities or things that make them special and more interesting. An example of when this was true was during one of the tests. The tet was to make their way through a maze. At the end of the maze they were discussing how they got out and Reynie used a pattern, Kate (another test taker) used tools and went through the air ducts and george tried every way until he was eventually out of the maze. This part leads me to believe that the answers on the test didn’t matter because Mr. Benedict was looking for kids with special talents or different ways of thinking to solve something.
One part that I was intrigued at was when the author described how much Reymie studied and read instead of regular kid things. This was interesting because it make we wonder why and how this would affect the rest of the story. It did affect the relationships Reynie makes in the beginning of the story.
One passage that I really like was “Standing there in the lamplit room, reflecting upon Sticky’s life as he slept, Reynie experienced a curious mixture of admiration, affection, and sympathy—curious because although he’d known the boy for only a day, it seemed as if they’d been friends for ages. And Kate, too, he reflected. He was already quite fond of her.” I really like this passage because it was the first time Reynie had true friends and was understanding what that felt that.
I really liked this book and I would rate it a 7 out of 10 because it was really good and had a cool a unique plot that I really enjoyed.