mysterious benedict societyReviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, Book 1)
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 495 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-15

Summary: Are you smart enough to attend the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened? Apply and find out today.

Why I started this book: I started this book when a coworker told me about it and brought it in the next day. A bunch of super smart kids to save the world? Let’s go!


  • I like how all the kids meet each other and become friends while going through Mr. Benedict’s testing to see if they’re smart enough to go to an elite private school.
  • I like how each kid answered challenges differently. Where one kid refuses to play the game, another kid sees the logical choice, another the most hare-brained, and the last right-choice. All are needed. Leave one out and the dynamics change.
  • I like the idiocy of the non-rules. You must have your lights out at curfew, but there is not curfew. Too bad these were tied in with the subliminal messages going on.


  • I didn’t like the focus on hypnotism, mesmerism, and subliminal messages used by the bad guy with his super-brain computer. Creepy. It also implied we’re not in control of our own thoughts and are unaware of outside influences. Stay alert! Your mind is your fortress – don’t let error in!
  • If the kids at this school are super geniuses why hasn’t anyone questioned the founder about his curriculum? Where are the real teachers?

Last Minute Thoughts: So while I didn’t like the bad guy’s plans and the execution of them in this book, I did like the kids so I’d be willing to read another book in the series.

Buy: The Mysterious Benedict Society

Rating: 2.5 Treasure Chests