Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Oh, how I loved this one. It reminded me of The Penderwicks- a perfect mixture of old-fashioned and contemporary. I think if E. Nesbit were still around, this is what she would be writing.

I loved the characters and their "superpowers" (especially Constance!). I loved that I wasn't entirely sure how it was going to turn out, and the twists and turns were perfectly plausible. The Edward Gorey-esque line drawings complemented the story perfectly.

The only thing that bothered me was the resolution to Sticky's story. it was too tidy and ultimately unsatisfying. I don't really believe Mr. Benedict's explanation. I would have been happier if he had picked up some confidence instead.

I have two conflicting ideas about who to give this book to. Part of me says that only particular readers will appreciate its quirkiness, but another says it will appeal to those who enjoyed Lemony Snicket's books, which were an enormous blockbuster. Probably, as with so many books, lots of kids will read and enjoy it, and a few will savor and adore it.

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