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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey — Trenton Lee Stewart

Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance return in this sequel to The Mysterious Benedict Society. Set one year after the first book’s events, the quartet become embroiled in international intrigue that only they can unravel. Mr. Benedict had planned a globe-trotting scavenger hunt for the kids, but was kidnapped by Mr. Curtain before he could surprise the children, who are the only ones who can decipher his clues and determine his whereabouts. With only their extraordinary wits and sheer determination to guide them, the children leap from one precarious situation to the next before rescuing their mentor.

This was a well-written sequel to the excellent original novel. As all children and good characters are wont to do, these children evolve, but without losing the quirkiness that makes them so memorable. Sticky struggles with his new-found pride and strives to be as brave as his friends. Constance, while as contrary as ever, seems to have softened with age. Reynie, from whose point of view the story is mainly told, struggles with his perceptions of others–people are much more complex than they would seem. Kate, from what I noticed, remained essentially the same–brave, resourceful, and full of exuberant energy.

 

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The Mysterious Benedict Society — Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society is one of those breezy, yet exciting reads that keeps me reading children’s fiction, even though I’m no longer the target audience. Meaty enough for adults at 471 pages (trade paperback) but written in a linear, simple style for younger readers, Benedict combines precocious orphans with perilous adventures to great effect.

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