When I left my last job a few years ago I threw the galley of this book into a box and brought it home. It has been sitting on my shelf ever since. Periodically I would read an article about it or hear a discussion and think to myself I should read it but I never got around to it. Well a few weeks ago I was packing for my yearly sojourn down the Jersey Shore when I impulsively picked it up and packed it with my beach stuff. The first day on the beach I opened it not expecting to be drawn in as quickly as I was. I couldn't believe that I had put reading this wonderful book off for so long.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart with illustrations by Carson Ellis is one of the most original books I have read in a long time. I know I am coming late to the table on this but as they say "better late than never"....this book gave me a feeling of childhood. It has such a retro feel to it but at the same time is very timely. I also loved the characters.....Reynie is the kind of kid we can't imagine exists but probably and sadly does somewhere. Kate, Sticky and even Constance are so intriguing and unique that I wished I could meet them. It was so great that even while some parts were predictable (which isn't always a bad thing) some parts were totally unexpected. For all the characters quirkiness they had very real reactions to very strange circumstances. I also love the illustrations because they have an "Edward Gorey" feel to them which fits the book perfectly.
This is a great book for the reluctant or voracious reader. It makes a good read along book too....
I can't wait to read the sequels: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey & the newest one The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma.
I love when I discover a treasure of a book....especially when it was right before my eyes all along.