17 March 2010

Just listened to...

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (read by Del Roy).

Now that I work in Pasadena one day a week, I like to listen to audio-books while I'm driving. Luckily, I'm now able to download books from my local library's website, so I don't have to fiddle with CDs while I'm on the freeway.

Reynard Muldoon is an 11-year-old orphan who lives in the Stonetown Orphanage. One day, his tutor, Miss Perumal, spots an advertisement in the newspaper that reads: ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD LOOKING FOR SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES?, and suggests that Reynnie might be interested.

He is, and is required to take a test near Stonetown Bay. After he passes the first test, he has to take another, and navigates his way across town to the building where the second test will be held. He and only 3 others pass this second stage, and go through a third.

When they find out that they will be going on a special and dangerous secret mission, they name themselves The Secret Benedict Society, after the man who brought them together.

It would be very easy to give away too much of the plot of this charming children's book, but in order to avoid that, the opposite is necessary. Suffice it to say that this is an extraordinary book suitable for upper-elementary and middle-school readers who don't mind learning new words or reading an almost-500-page book.

The narration by Del Roy is perfect for the tone of the writing. He also reads the next two books in the series, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey and The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma.

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