Good morning! Today we are reading a book I read in January: “The Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart. If we check out the January Reading List blog I posted last month- you’d see that I had rated (from my memory) this book at a 10/10. I would say this rating is still accurate after rereading this book for the first time in about six years.
“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn’t depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.”
–Trenton Lee Stewart
This book is all about children with special gifts and talents (Specifically, Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance) recruited my Mr. Benedict be secret spies in an institute for children to discover and abolish the plans of Mr. Benedict’s evil twin brother, Ledroptha Curtain.
If you would like to know more about all the main characters here is a link to their descriptions and characteristics: The Characters. Otherwise, we shall now get to the juicy stuff…shall we?
Something that I particularly appreciate about the book is that EVERYONE is an oddball. The good guys, the bad guys…the people in between. Everyone is strange. I like that you don’t have your typical, old and reused character stereotypes. With strange characters-comes strange character and plot development. I like that you can easily follow along with the storyline- but you also can’t really guess what is coming next.
Another thing I am really fond of is that the book(s) while it is from a third party narrative perspective…it is essentially through the eyes of these gifted children. I think adults tend to think in black and white narratives- where this story depicts the mind bending beauty of a child’s perspective. The story seems to focus more on Reynie-who had fallen into the leadership role of the group. I loved to watch as the confidence in himself-built and faded, then built again throughout the book. The very human and genuine character development is appreciated.
One quality all the children (and Mr. Benedict) share is that they are all orphans- or are lacking a parental figure. Watching them develop a sense of family and trust with one another was beautiful. The book, much like many good vs. evil plotlines centers on teamwork and how difficult teamwork can be when you don’t fully understand your teammates. You get a little chuckle in the last chapter as a very left out detail about Constance is revealed- that makes you both appreciate her efforts and forgive her faults. Overall- great characters, amazing story telling, and most important: great lessons and values to be reminded of-no matter your age.
I believe, with that I will just just leave you, again, with a strong recommendation to read The Mysterious Benedict Society. That is all for the book review today- for now, happy reading and I will see you again soon.
Typical Cold Brew Recommendation
I love to make my own cold brew. It’s easy, its quick, and most importantly…very tasty. I like to add dairy free creamers (my favorite is ‘coconut creme’ flavor or on a Plain Jane Day- a splash of plant milk (you guessed it- my favorite is coconut milk but…). Lately, I have been using oat milk as it is one of the most sustainably sourced and cheapest on the market.
Another homemade favorite is iced/blended matcha tea. It’s creamy and delicious and buying a $15 dollar bag of matcha to make 50-75 teas in place of buying a $6-7 drink everyday is saving big bucks. (I still get sneaky treats from my local coffee shops though…sue me.) I also add plant milk to this guy for the added creamy flavor.
Iced/Blended Matcha Recommendation