The Book Junkie

         I originally discovered “The Mysterious Benedict Society” on a list of books for people who like “Harry Potter.” What a fabulous discovery! I loved the story, the characters, the settings, the dialog—everything about the book. The book tells a tale of four children who, after many challenges, adventures, close calls, and last-minute rescues, save the world from the evil mastermind Mr. Curtain.
         The story begins when Reynie Muldoon, an orphan who is clever enough to need a special tutor to engage his mind, reads a newspaper ad for “a gifted child looking for special opportunities”. Responding to the ad, Reynie takes a series of tests to find out if those special opportunities might be for him. On completing the tests, Reynie and his three new friends Sticky, Kate, and Constance, meet Mr. Benedict, the author of the ad. Mr. Benedict tells the children of a great danger to the world: Mr. Curtain, who plans to take over the world via a machine that plants thoughts in people’s minds. Furthermore, Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance are the only ones who can stop the evil plot. To that end, the children enroll in the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened—a school run by Mr. Curtain for the purpose of disguising his plot and for the easy access to children he can trick into working on his project.
         With many riddles, puzzles, codes, and plot twists, “The Mysterious Benedict Society” is a brilliant page-turner. If you like Roald Dahl, you’ll like this. The book is nicely written and fun to read. It has elements of science fiction, adventure story, school story, mystery, and probably several other genres. This is an excellent story populated by wonderful characters. It’s definitely worth reading! 

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