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The Mysterious Benedict Society

by Trenton Lee Stewart
Illustrated by Carson Ellis

Published by Megan Tingley Books / Little, Brown, 2007
485 pages
ISBN: 9780316057776

Ages 10-13

Responding to an unusual newspaper advertisement (“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”), Reynie Muldoon follows the ad’s directive to take a special test at a designated place and time. Of the many children who show up for the test, only Reynie and three others are selected to undertake a dangerous mission for the Mysterious Benedict Society. Acting as secret agents, the four children must infiltrate the exclusive Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. The Mysterious Benedict Society’s eccentric leader is convinced that the Institute is the source of insidious messages being delivered directly into human brains. He believes these messages are causing the “Emergency ”—a worldwide deterioration of all aspects of civilization that is triggering a demand for dramatic government upheaval. At the center of an intricate and dryly comic plot lies a message of cooperation and tolerance as the four quirky and very different children learn that none of them can solve the mystery (and save the world!) without the help of the others.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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