Monday, June 16, 2008

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

The newest installment of The Mysterious Benedict Society is here and it is GREAT! The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart is the sequel to The Mysterious Benedict Society. It lived up to all my expectations.
It has been a year and the foursome, nicknamed The Mysterious Benedict Society, is back together. They have planned a reunion and think that they will all be meeting at their faithful adviser Mr. Nicholas Benedict's home. Little do they know when they arrive they will be met with a great adventure! It is part planned adventure arranged by Mr. Benedict himself and part an unexpected adventure due to Mr. Benedict's twin brother Ledroptha Curtain. Mr. Curtain and his old crew, now renamed "Ten Men," are up to their old ways and no one is safe.
Perilous Journey is an understatement. This book had more twists and turns than Lombard Street in San Fransisco. I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire book. As with the first book, it is quite long. It took me, well let's just say awhile to finish. I can't say enough good things about the plot of this book! It is just so engaging and fun! I love the puzzles the children are trying to solve and find myself trying to solve the puzzles before the kids. I never succeed.
I must admit, I can never give these books a full 5 stars. There is NO WAY on God's green Earth my fifth grade students could hang with the vocabulary in these books. I often found myself looking up certain words. I am all about trying to encourage students to extend their vocabulary, but there is no need use words even the teacher needs to look up. (And I am not just talking about one or two words) There is nothing in a the world that will turn off a kid to a story faster than vocabulary they do not understand. I bet listening to these stories on recordings would be great to solve this problem. Again, this book, as was the first book, too long to read aloud to a class.
All this being said, I recommend this sequel to all adults who enjoy a little puzzle and a lot of adventure!
Oh, I almost forgot... the ending was left wide open for a third installment! YEAH!
Other Reviews:
bookshelves of doom
Jen Robinson's Book Page
Biblio File
The Curiosity Chronicle (A Mysterious Benedict Society website)


Anonymous said...

I shared this book with my 5th graders at the end of the year and they loved the mystery and intrigue of the story.

Mary Lee said...

I listened to the first book -- it was FABULOUS. Great reader who didn't feel the need to make up new voices for each character, just gave the most minor of inflection changes and let me do the rest with my imagination. Maybe I should just wait for this one on audio, too!

Julie said...

I love the line in your review about more plot twists than Lombard Street! (Which was a stop on my honeymoon, by the way.) I enjoyed this book so much that I didn't give much thought to the vocabulary... I'll have to ask some kids what they think about it.

Unknown said...

i'm a fifth grader and the vocab wasn't hard...