Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict, an orphan afflicted with an unfortunate nose and with narcolepsy, is sent to a new orphanage where he encounters vicious bullies, selfish adults, strange circumstances, and a mystery that could change his life forever.
Original publication date
Fortunately Nicholas is blessed with an eidetic memory, a great drive to learn (mostly through rapidly reading and then recalling each and every book in the orphanage library), and a remarkably resourceful wit. Together his prodigious memory, abundant storehouse of information, and reasoning ability get him out of numerous scrapes and, not too surprisingly, into a few. But Nicholas is not all alone in his endeavours. He finds a friend in John, who bravely protects him from the Spider gang of bullies at the orphanage, and in Violet, who has a host of challenges of her own not least of which is deafness. The three embark on a quest for a treasure that might save them all from fates that look less than appealing.
It is a return to form for Trenton Lee Stewart. This book has all of the verve of the first in the series. By concentrating his attention on only three children, and only one extraordinary child, he is able to add dimensions to their characterisation. Plot holds the reins, naturally, but Nicholas’ education will be something he can’t learn (or memorize) from books. There are extraordinary people in the world, and here we get a glimpse, perhaps, of why Nicholas Benedict grows up to become one of them. If, like me, you feel compelled to persist with a series once you’ve started it, you will not be disappointed when you reach this volume of the Mysterious Benedict Society series. Enjoy!
This book tells us about Nicholas Benedict's (the "teacher" of the children in the three previous novels) unusual childhood. I was skeptical. I thought I would be disappointed since the children I have grown to love in the other novels weren't in this story, but that was not the case. I loved the characters just as much in this novel! It was very cool to see how all of the characters in this novel grew and some of the reasons why they turned into the people they do in the previously published novels.
Nicholas Benedict is your not-so-typical, super-smart, narcolpetic young boy. This story begins with his journey to a new orphanage (as Mr. Benedict is an orphan himself) called Rothschild's End. He dreams of a fresh start where he will have freinds and fit in, unfortunately that is not what happens immediately. Nicholas is warned of the Spiders, the orphanage's notorious bullies, before he even enters the building and the Headmaster, Mr. Collum, is not a compassionate or caring man.
However, Nicholas' stay at Rothschild's End isn't all bad. He is able to learn many valuable life lessons, gain a couple amazing new friends (John and Violet), all while on the hunt for a hidden treasure. Will Nicholas and his two friends figure out where the treasure is located before the Mr. Collum? Can Nicholas ever "defeat" the Spiders? Is it possible for someone so different to fit in?
There are some twists at the end, which is a surprise, even though it makes sense. There are some funny and clever parts because Nicholas has to outwit orphange bullies. He almsot always come out on top.
-Breton W Kaiser Taylor
It was 400+ pages, so it was long & tedious with too much minutiae, and of course an author attempting to be overly clever.
I figured out what the treasure was early on, but became easily bored through-out.
But now I can say I attempted to read this series!