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The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (The Mysterious Benedict Society 0.5)

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4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  5,099 ratings  ·  623 reviews
Before there was a Mysterious Benedict Society, there was simply a boy named Nicholas Benedict. Meet the boy who started it all....

Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict has more problems than most children his age. Not only is he an orphan with an unfortunate nose, but he also has narcolepsy, a condition that gives him terrible nightmares and makes him fall asleep at the worst p
...more
Hardcover, 470 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Clare Cannon
Jun 29, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 10 years+

Perhaps even more enjoyable than the Mysterious Benedict Society; I really liked the young Nicholas Benedict and his adventures at a new orphanage. It almost felt like I was back at Hogwarts. There's something captivating about following a new kid at a big, old fashioned school that is part fascinating and part scary, part welcoming and part awe-inspiring. Add to that some down-to-earth friends, some plotting enemies, some ambiguous teachers and some mysterious predecessors (who've planted a tr
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Kate
I don't know what it is about these Benedict books, but they make me feel like a kid again more than any other children's books I've read as an adult. I get wrapped up in them the same way I used to with my favorites back in elementary school. It's a really nice place to visit.

That said, as much as I enjoyed learning Nicholas Benedict's early history, this book flagged so much in the middle third that I almost gave it up. I skimmed a lot because I didn't feel the clues were building fast enough
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Lynette ~ Escaping Reality – One Book at a Time ~
Apr 19, 2012 Lynette ~ Escaping Reality – One Book at a Time ~ rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody who has read The Mysterious Benedict Society
I cannot wait to read this book!
I LOVE The Mysterious Benedict Society, and was SOOOO psyched when I learned that a new book was coming out.

UPDATE:
Simply put, I LOVED THIS BOOK.
Michelle
I met Trenton Lee Stewart after a concert in central Arkansas several years ago. It was a funny experience because I had not read much of the Mysterious Benedict Society (if any of it) and I knew he was famous for it but couldn't think of anything to say to him. I wanted to smack my forehead afterward because it was silly to have a chance to rub shoulders with a literary celebrity but waste the opportunity by several moments of silence.

Anyway. I read the MBS series and thought they were good. A
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Lady Bilbo
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict is indeed a most extraordinary book that I loved from the beginning and one that I will definitely read again. It's a very enjoyable, fun, easy to follow book that readers young and old will love. This book has kept me up into late hours of the night, keeping me turning the pages because I could hardly put it down.

All the characters felt really real to me, which I loved. My favourite character is definitely Nicholas. Nicholas, the nine-year old o
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Veronica
Having read the Mysterious Benedict Society, I always wanted to know the background of Nicholas Benedict, the founder of the society. This book gives all that and more. Nicholas is nine and has been moving from orphanage to orphanage for years. When his guardian drops him off at the new orphanage, she warns him to be good. The problem is not that Nicholas cannot obey, but that his conditions make him easy pickings for teasing. He has narcolepsy and falls asleep at random times. He also falls asl ...more
Emma
Before Nicholas Benedict brought four unusual children together, he was just a lonely orphan himself, sent from one orphanage to another. While Nicholas’ mind might be extraordinary, his abnormally large nose and his narcolepsy make him a target for the other children. When nine-year-old Nicholas arrives at Rothschild Manor, he can only hope that things will become better for him. There, he makes a quick friend only to have him scared away by the orphanage bullies, the Spiders. With his photogra ...more
Megan Kirby
I love that Trenton Lee Stewart writes smart, complicated kid's books, but it's getting awkward to have to sneak onto the children's library floor each time he releases a new Benedict Society book. Extraordinary Education was so good, though, that it was totally worth the skeptical looks the librarians gave me when I clomped through reading time in my Doc Martens.

This is the prequel to The Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy, which I tore through last summer. Stewart reinvigorates a fairly stan
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Tarissa
"The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict" makes an excellent example of creativity and ingenuity in an author's writing style.

This book is actually the prequel to the "Mysterious Benedict Society" trilogy. You really must read the trilogy first, in order to catch all the little details hidden in the prequel. While we've so enjoyed the adventures and quests of Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance who form the Society --- and all of whom are very bright children that Mr. Benedict cultivate
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Jayne
Appealing dual aspects of fun and adventure, woven throughout with deeper messages about spirituality and morality.

Not only is this story action-packed and adventure-filled in the sense of actual events and scenes taking place, but it is also eventful in the sense of Nicholas' spiritual growth and character development.

I loved the three main characters - Nicholas, John and Violet - they were all soulful in one way or another. I can't deny that in some places I experienced bit of a lull, but ove
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Hannah
Okay okay wait let me calm down and think clearly.
THIS WAS AMAZING. It was better than all the other books about Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance! It was better than all three of those put together! IT WAS AMAZING I TELL YOU! AMAZING!

//calms down slightly

I love how Nicholas thinks. I love how he's so smart and can get me to think like him for just a second. I love how he's literally a genius at the tender age of 9 years old. If I could choose one book character to meet for a day, it would be t
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Brenda
Nine-year old Nicholas Benedict is a force to be reckoned with. Coming to Child's End, or the Manor, opens up a whole new world for Nicholas. Of course there are "The Spiders" to deal with and the rules to follow and the chores to do, but there are also one or two friendships to be made and a real mystery to be solved. Somewhere in the Manor is the lost inheritance of the late Mrs. Rothchild - it is said to be a vast treasure and Nicholas is sure he will be able to find it. He knows if he can se ...more
Betty-Ann
I read the first of the Mysterious Benedict Society books last year with a book group I had with some fourth grade boys. Best book club I ever did! Picture this – 12 bouncy, loud, excited boys stampeding into the library, grabbing their book, and becoming completely absorbed in the story. For 30 minutes they read, without any prompting or reminding on my part. You truly could hear a pin drop! We all loved the mystery, trying to figure out the clues. I have not read the other two in the series bu ...more
LauraW
Although my rating for this book is the same as my rating for the first book in the series (this book is a prequel to the first book), for some reason this book resonated with me more. I liked the first book because of the diverse set of gifted kids. I liked this book for Nicholas himself. I am still trying to puzzle out why this book worked so much better for me than books 2 and 3 of the series and even more than book one, too. I think part of the reason is that, by focusing on Nicholas, you re ...more
Cleo
You may have heard of The Mysterious Benedict Society, a book which I love (as well as the two series.) But before the Mysterious Benedict Society, there was a boy named Nicholas Benedict. This book is about his childhood, and it is a great story on its own, though it also provides some insight into Mr. Benedict in the other series. Trenton Lee Stewart has a very distinctive writing style, which was apparent in this book as well. Nicholas, a nine-year-old orphan, gets sent to a new orphanage, ju ...more
Peg
Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict is sent to yet another orphanage, Rothschild’s End. He is an extraordinarily intelligent lad, with a photographic memory, mechanical skills, and logical thinking. He is also slightly small for his age, sports a larger-than-usual lumpy nose, and suffers from narcolepsy. Not surprisingly, he becomes a target for the trio of bullies called the Spiders, who rule, undeterred by unsuspecting staff, over all the children at the orphanage. In fact, the small staff is rath ...more
Evan
"The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict" is the fourth and final installment in Trenton Lee Stewart's the Mysterious Benedict Society series. The book is a prequel about Mr. Benedict troubled childhood. As a child, Nicholas Benedict was very smart, able to memorize anything he read. He loves to read, but unfortunately has a disease called narcolepsy. Furthermore, he is an orphan , and since his last orphanage, Littleview, closed, he gets transferred to a different orphanage near the to ...more
Allison Campbell
THE EXTRAORDINARY OF NICHOLAS BENEDICT by Trenton Lee Stewart makes a compelling stand-alone novel, but for readers of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY and its sequels, this prequel is a real treat. We meet Nicholas at the age of nine, when he is already an old pro at adjusting to life in a new orphanage, as his narcolepsy and night terrors tax an institution's patience. He joins 'Child's End, ruled by a pack of bullies called the Spiders, and makes a single friend, John. He is locked in his room ...more
Carissa
A well-read audiobook and an interesting prequel to the rest of the books about these characters. I find it interesting that there is NO mention of Mr. Benedict's twin (it's been awhile since I read the original trilogy. Was his twin revealed to him in book one or had he already met him?). What I did enjoy was Nicholas' (almost) unflappable optimism and ingenuity (albeit unbelievably precocious, but that's what makes us love him, right?). I also appreciate that Nicolas' realization towards the e ...more
Vivien Sarabillo
I JUST CAN'T.

This book. OMG.

1.) Mr. Trenton Lee Stewart you are...... Words are not enough to describe how sensational you are.
2.) Eidetic Memory? COOL.
3.) Having an Eidetic Memory at such a young age? ANSHDJSKSHDSNDKSDUDNSUPERCOOL.

*****

The Mysterious Benedict Society Series was just amazing. And I guess Mr. T.L.S did a superb job in writing this book that it surpassed the cleverness and exquisiteness of the MBS series. Even though the plot was somewhat similar with the books about Reynie, Sti
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Winna
What a delightful read. It makes me realize how much I miss the Mysterious Benedict Society series, and there hasn't been any new books from Mr. Stewart after this one came out in 2012. Now which mystery am I supposed to read?

This one comes as a prequel to the series. Nicholas Benedict is 9, sent to an orphanage, and is friendless. There, he encounters possible friends, possible enemies, and clues to a treasure hunt that he thinks he can solve.

It does not have the modern feel of the series, whic
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Tia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Flora Bateman
This was my introduction to the Mysterious Benedict Society and I must say that I'm hooked. I shall definitely seek out more of these books.

Nicholas Benedict is an orphan with more problems than most. He suffers from narcolepsy and he's a genious. In the begining of the story he comes to Child's End from another orphanage, he's been in orphanages most of his life, and here he finds a mystery. Nicholas soon discovers that there is a treasure to be found that was hidden by the previous owners of
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Petra
I really enjoyed this look into Nicholas Benedict's childhood. Parts of it were sorrowful, yet Nicholas pulls through and thrives in the process, learning about himself and others.
The themes of the importance of family & friends, loyalty, belief in self are in the forefront, in a humorous, interesting and warm way. Learning to work together and confront bullies also plays a large role.
The Mysterious Benedict series has interesting characters and situations that kids will love. This is a won
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Charlyn  Trussell
This prequel to the other books of the Mysterious Benedict Society series is a good read whether or not one has already been introduced to Nicholas Benedict in the other books. He is a rather pathetic child--an orphan with a long nose, he suffers from narcolepsy and horrid nightmares and now he's being sent to yet another orphanage. And it's not a cheery place. In spite of its dreariness, Nicholas manages to make a friend and to find a mystery to solve. His intellect and photographic memory prov ...more
Nicole
It took me awhile to get into this book, the plot just didn't grab me. I think what I loved about the Mysterious Benedict Society was all of the intriguing and unique characters. In this you have Nicholas Benedict who is incredible but I missed having a gang of smart kids going on adventures and solving mysteries. Once some more characters were introduced I liked it a lot more and finished it in a few sittings. The two revelations that were made at the end I had already figured out so they weren ...more
Charlie
Young Nicholas Benedict has been through many orphanages, but his last one is the most interesting. I loved this book because I never knew what would happen next. I recommend this book to the lovers of mystery and suspense.
Heather
I don't know why exactly, but I really love these books. 4.5 stars. This is the 4th book in the Mysterious Benedict Society Series...but chronologically it comes first. So if you are just starting the series, I would start with this one. These books are fun, sometimes silly, full of adventure, and a little bit of mystery. But above all else, I love that they have such a great human relationship angle to them as well. You quickly come to love and care about the main characters. The moral of this ...more
Alicia
Things tend to go a bit slow when it's 480 pages long AND it's the holidays. But, I finally got through it. I read it without reading the actually Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy and it didn't matter because the story was just about Nicholas, a nine-year-old with an insane intelligence (read: annoying) and narcolepsy but his quest to find the orphanage's mistress's treasure is just the activity that Nicholas needs to try to escape the evil Spiders gang of three from bullying him.

I wasn't bl
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Bobby
This prequel to the Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy stars Harry Potter-like Nicholas Benedict (9 years old; orphan; shunned by others; has many extraordinary gifts, albeit not magical). I found the story as engaging as Harry Potter and frankly the writing itself even better (nothing against JK Rowling). The vocabulary is rich enough to please teachers/parents and I imagine the main characters are irreverent enough to be cool to the target audience of tweens. Looking forward to reading the tr ...more
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Trenton Lee Stewart is the author of the award-winning, bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series for young readers, as well the adult novel Flood Summer. He lives with his family in Little Rock, Arkansas.
More about Trenton Lee Stewart...
The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1) The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #2) The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #3) The Mysterious Benedict Society Collection (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1-3) The Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict's Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums

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“Nicholas Benedict did have an exceptional gift for knowing things (more exceptional, in fact, than most adults would have thought possible), and yet not even he could know that this next chapter was to be the most unusual-and most important-of his entire childhood. Indeed, the strange days that lay ahead would change him forever, though for now they had less substance than the mist through which he ran.” 15 likes
“No sooner had he thought this than he realized what was anchoring his happiness. It was purpose. He knew what he wanted to do. He knew the way he thought things should be, and Mr. Harinton was proving that other people--even adults--could feel the same way. Nicholas had something to aim for now. He might not know what he wanted to be when he grew up, but he knew with absolute certainty how he wanted to be.” 12 likes
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