Alice's Reviews > The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
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Sep 05, 11

bookshelves: 2011-tbr-challenge, children-s-lit
Read from September 01 to 05, 2011

What a wonderful, wonderful book.

I've owned it for two years and hadn't read it until now. But I've read some other wonderful things in the meantime, so I won't beat myself up too much for that. Since it has been on my shelf for that long, however, it was on my To-Be-Read Pile Challenge list.

So there's children's lit and there's children's lit, by which I mean there's somewhat enjoyable children's lit like The Hunger Games (haven't read, doesn't matter) and Eddie Dickens and others, and then there's a certain tongue-in-cheek, knowledgeable, kind to and understanding of children style that almost inevitably makes me tear up at some point in the book.

Most of A Series of Unfortunate Events had that tone (kind of fouled it up after book 9), and Mysterious Benedict Society has it.

Basically, it's a group of four parentless children brought together by a Mr Benedict, who needs them to investigate some mysterious happenings on an island. And it's amazing and wonderful if you're not one of the unfortunate adults who deems well-written children's lit to be below their reading standards. No, no, go read your shitty adult vampire book. I totally understand.

One of the things that can be great about children's lit is that the author can write extremely well but not have some agenda to "prove" himself, which is what can make adult books disgustingly pretentious. Trenton Lee Stewart uses relatively simple prose, but he's a great writer. I was invested in all the characters, and I fully plan on reading the other two in the series.
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Reading Progress

09/01/2011 page 82
17.0% "Omg. I love this book. LOVE."
09/04/2011 page 343
70.0% "Aghhh so much love."

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