Monday, May 7, 2012

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas BenedictThe Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gawd, I can just eat up The Mysterious Benedict Society Series like cotton candy. It's literally pure delight. Like cotton candy.

Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict has more problems than most children his age. Not only is he an orphan with an unfortunate nose, but he also has narcolepsy, a condition that gives him terrible nightmares and makes him fall asleep at the worst possible moments.

Now he's being sent to a new orphanage, where he will encounter vicious bullies, selfish adults, strange circumstances – and a mystery that could change his life forever. Luckily, he does have one thing in his favor: He's a a genius.

On his quest to solve the mystery, Nicholas finds enemies around every corner, but also friends in unexpected places – and discovers along the way that the greatest puzzle of all is himself.

So, I guess you could say that I've absolutely fallen in love with Nicholas Benedict (which is uber-gross, of course, since he's probably sixty or something right "now".) But The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict is not only a great prequel to the three other Benedict books, but an amazing feat of writing too-it explores a lot of issues that come with growing up, and this is only the more fun when you spend your time with Nicholas Benedict, boy (and man) genius.

Though the story is a lot smaller than in the other Benedict books (your finding a treasure, not saving the world; think Tin Tin, but less handsome with a potato for a nose), it's still rather fun to solve the mystery alongside Nick. I was rather disappointed when we didn't encounter any familiar characters from the other books (well, heck, I don't really know that; I haven't read those in a while). But it's still fun drawing the parallels: you figure out his passion for green plaid, what his childhood was like, etc.

All in all, I LOVED IT! Even though The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict is categorized as a children's book, I will make sure that you read this book to your children, or yourself (if you're still a child) or just plain read it. It's that good.

And how will I do that? Well, I think Nick Benedict knows.

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