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Extraordinary is Right!, April 18, 2012

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (The Mysterious Benedict Society)
This prequel to the Mysterious Benedict Society series is wonderful. It's part Oliver Twist, part Agatha Cristie. You get genius orphan Nicholas Benedict, who unfortunately falls asleep at the most awful times. Add in a poor orphanage... a trio of dreaded bullies... a hidden treasure... and a secret friendship, and you have a tale most kids won't be able to put down. I read children's books so I can review them on my website - and this is the best one I've read in ages.I won't say anything more... wouldn't want to spoil the fun for you. Just read it yourself and see.

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This prequel to the Mysterious Benedict Society series is wonderful. It's part Oliver Twist, part Agatha Cristie. You get genius orphan Nicholas Benedict, who unfortunately falls asleep at the most awful times. Add in a poor orphanage... a trio of dreaded bullies... a hidden treasure... and a secret friendship, and you have a tale most kids won't be able to put down. I read children's books so I can review them on my website - and this is the best one I've read in ages.I won't say anything more... wouldn't want to spoil the fun for you. Just read it yourself and see.
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If you haven't already been introduced to the Mysterious Benedict Society feel free to start with this witty prequel that details the early life of Nicholas Benedict, a genius orphan with narcolepsy who becomes the patriarchal figure in the later trilogy. Even without knowing a thing about the other books, you will quickly be pulled into Nicholas's world.The author does use some stereotypical characters for the bullies and the staff at the orphanage, but somehow I was not bothered in the least by this as I got pulled into the mystery. The descriptive language may be a bit much for some, but I enjoyed the pictures it painted in my mind. Most children (and some adults) will need a dictionary close by when reading this book. I have to say I wasn't expecting to run across the words "vouchsafe" or "ebullient" in a children's book. This is book for a confident reader, not for a child who just switched to chapter books. It's also a lot of fun for an adult like me who refuses to...
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