viernes, 24 de octubre de 2014

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Genre: Fiction, Adventure
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Year: 2008
Ranking: 3.8/ 5


When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?

Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.

The Author

Trenton Lee Stewart (born 1970) is an American author best known for the Mysterious Benedict Society series. Stewart is a graduate of Hendrix College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He lives with his wife and two sons in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Trenton Lee Stewart grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas with an interest in writing that began in the third grade. In 1992, Stewart received a bachelor degree in English from Hendrix College, a small liberal arts school where he met his wife Sarah Beth Estes. Afterwards he attended the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, receiving an MFA in creative writing in 1995. Stewart remained in Iowa City while his wife completed her Ph.D, after which the family moved to Cincinnati, where Stewart worked at various jobs including a video store, a hotel, and a public library. He also taught at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and at the Miami University of Ohio. Stewart's first novels were published during this time: Flood Summer in 2005 and The Mysterious Benedict Society in 2007, the latter remaining on The New York Times Best Seller list for over a year.
Stewart and his family then returned to Arkansas where he began writing full-time. Two more books were completed in the series: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey in 2008, and The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma in 2009, both of which appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list. In 2012, a prequel to the series, titled The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, was published. Stewart is currently working on two different children's novels which, although unrelated to the Benedict series, "contain similar elements of mystery and adventure”.

Personal Experience with This Book

I will begin this review saying that this book is meant to be a middle grade children’s book. For everyone to understand the way I saw the book and rated it as well.

I was into the story from the first chapter. I could not stop reading it for a while and I wanted to know what was going to happen after. It was like an obsession for me, seriously. The story is, in my point of view, very original because these kids do not have any special powers or anything. They are unique and very smart. They have this urgency to be accepted which I found really cute and sad at the same time.

I love the way the author gives the family an importance in the book. At the beginning none of the children have one but, after all that happen to them they learn how important having someone to protect you and care for you is. I loved that.

About the characters, I would like to say that the author made such a wonderful character development job. I was in love with three of the children by chapter 5. It was like I knew them from long time ago and I have only read 5 chapter where mainly just one of them was in every chapter I have read while the rest were just in one or two of the chapters. I did not like Constance at the beginning but as I read I fell in love with her sense of humor and the direct way she said everything. Everyone needs someone like that in their lives.

However; I think because It is a book written for middle school students I could not enjoy the story as It progressed. I was able to guess what it was going to happen and, I found it long and packed with things that were simply too inexplicable. I mean, there were parts where I stopped thinking “What? No way!” Maybe if I have read the book around that age, I would have enjoyed the book much more.

Moreover, as the story progressed it became slow comparing to the beginning of it. Because at the beginning, everything happened so fast and then the story becomes slow and a little bit boring. I think maybe the book was a little bit long. It would have been better to cut at least 100 pages of it. Even so, I still recommend the book. It was a fun reading overall and I fell in love with the characters. I do not plan to continue the series though, not because I won’t want to but because I already have so much to read in my plans. But as soon as I have finished with everything I have bought I will buy the second book. 
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