Patricia's Reviews > The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
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Feb 12, 09

bookshelves: children

Ok, so I've seen reviews that say that TL Stewart misrepresents how an orphan is treated, or how an orphan feels... Waah waah waah. I don't really care about how this story represents orphans; it's fiction anyhow.

I liked the fact that the story encourages self reliance and creative thinking for kids. There's a nice irony in the double edged view of children in thsi book... first, that most adults underestimate kids and disbelieve what they say. secondly, that these four children are the only chance of saving, basically, the world.

There are a few mental puzzles for challenging the reader, and even a little morse code at the end if they want to figure it out. But beyond the basic plot of the story (implausable yes, but intriguing) the author delves into some more serious issues that kids deal with, such as loneliness, not being accepted, not wanting assistance, etc and clearly talks about how these kids fear even sharing these feelings with their friends. Although I wish they had ended up sharing these feelings, and letting kids know it's ok not to bottle these things up; it was good for the reader to see that these fears are not unique to themselves. In fact, through the course of the book, it is made very clear that ALL kids have at least one great fear that keeps them going. In the story it becomes clear that the only way to overcome your fears are to confront them... but nobody wants to do that...

An enjoyable read.
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