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The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (Mysterious Benedict Society)

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (Mysterious Benedict Society) [Kindle Edition]

Trenton Lee Stewart
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

When nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict is sent to a new orphanage, he encounters vicious bullies, selfish adults, strange circumstances - and a mind-bending mystery. Luckily, he has one very important thing in his favour: he's a genius.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3783 KB
  • Print Length: 497 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316176206
  • Publisher: Chicken House; 1 edition (2 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H9FD542
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,204 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 9 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book, like all previous ones, is brilliant.I thought it is too thick for my 8 years old son, but he loves that series and reads one after another....
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary 29 May 2012
I read the last pages of this book to my younger brother last night as he drifted asleep. One of the very few books I felt inclined to look over plot-holes or other unsatisfactory elements when I did occasionally came across them; precious few books allow you to enjoy the story despite flaws within them, and this book is definitely one of them.

The superb writing and celebration of intelligence concluded with a touching and very important moral created a memorable childrens book, even for me. I shall be saving it to read to my children when/if I'm blessed with them. :)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so good that mother and daughter both read it 10 Dec 2012
By Jorge
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I gave this to my ten year old niece who loved it so much that her mother then read and loved it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  116 reviews
53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quirky and mysterious prequel that stands alone 13 April 2012
By Sheila (NJ) - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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 grow up.

Although Nicholas is only 9 in this book, he comes across as much older due to his intellect and insight. I found myself wishing I was as smart as this precocious child. Nicholas looks at the world in wonder, and you will find yourself looking for patterns and being more observant of your surroundings after reading this book. Simple objects may have uses you haven't thought of yet. The story is set in an old mansion that was turned into an orphanage and I'm still wishing I could find a manor to explore after finishing the book.

In the beginning of the book Nicholas is quite cynical for his young age, which is to be expected when one considers what he has been through. However, the extraordinary education of Nicholas Benedict is not just about a boy learning facts and figures, it is also about him discovering the good in people. It starts with an old diary in which the writer portrays his deep love for his wife whom he describes as "a witty, scholarly woman, always reading, a clever problem-solver". While Nicholas's first reaction to reading her description is less than warm, by the end of the book he comes to realize that there are many good and decent people in the world, and he aspires to be one of them.

I don't want to give away the plot, but suffice it to say this book is a definite *must read* for anyone looking for a little intrigue mixed with a dose of heart and a lot of humor. It is a tale of morals and of boy who learns to have friends, and it is also a story about loving to learn. You will have the urge to sneak off to a library and further your own education. Old fans will love it, and new fans will be looking for more.
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the trilogy, if not better 12 April 2012
A Kid's Review - Published on
This is a great book. I have read each of the Mysterious Benedict Society books at least three times so far and was very excited when this came out. I read the whole thing in one night! It is not really a prequel, although it takes place before the other books, as this book takes place when Mr. Benedict was a child and does not mention any other characters from The Mysterious Benedict Society. I am glad I read The Mysterious Benedict Society books first, because without reading them I would not have appreciated some parts. I liked how Mr. Benedict (Nicholas then) reused and fixed things for his own purposes and had a perfect memory, as far as he knew. It is surprising and exciting, and I expect I will read it again.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary is Right! 19 April 2012
By Deanna Blanchard - Published on
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of a Newbery Medal 27 Sep 2012
By Michelle Baker - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I met Trenton Lee Stewart after a concert in central Arkansas several years ago. It was a funny experience because I had not read much of the Mysterious Benedict Society (if any of it) and I knew he was famous for it but couldn't think of anything to say to him. I wanted to smack my forehead afterward because it was silly to have a chance to rub shoulders with a literary celebrity but waste the opportunity by several moments of silence.

Anyway. I read the MBS series and thought they were good. A little hard to get into sometimes, but my sons love them and have read them multiple times. But then they persuaded me to set aside my grownup fare and read THIS book, insisting it was Stewart's best yet. I read the first chapter and found that I couldn't put it down. It has a narrative pace that is much more compelling than the MBS books. Its characters are more real. Its plot has neatly executed intricacies that satisfy. Its message is uplifting and inspiring.

I agree with my sons -- this is Trenton Lee Stewart's best work thus far! And now if I were to meet him again, I would have plenty to say to him, including to express my hope that it has been submitted to the Newbery committee. It is every bit as good as Louis Sachar's "Holes"; in fact I like it even more because of its power to make me want to be better, kinder -- to use my gifts to help those I care about, like Nicholas Benedict.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readers will enjoy challenging themselves to solve puzzles alongside the hero 29 May 2012
By KidsReads - Published on
Those who have read and loved THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY and its sequels know Nicholas Benedict as an enigmatic man, a narcoleptic and a genius who kindly inspires his young protégés. They also know him as an old (or at least older) man. But what was Nicholas Benedict like as a boy? And how and when did he develop the abiding love of mysteries, puzzles and problem-solving that defined the rest of his life?
The answers to those questions --- not to mention a rollicking good mystery plot --- lie at the center of THE EXTRAORDINARY EDUCATION OF NICHOLAS BENEDICT, a prequel to Trenton Lee Stewart's three previous novels and a thoroughly entertaining story in its own right.

When we first meet the nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict, he is on his way to a new orphanage, one that promises to manage his narcolepsy and its attendant night terrors better than his previous lodgings. Nicholas, whose prodigious intellect and impeccable memory belie his childlike optimism, wants to believe that this new location will offer him a new beginning, away from the bullying and cruelty he has encountered at his previous schools.

Far from a fresh start, however, Rothschild's End (or "Child's End," as it is known) seems to provide an even worse environment. Before he even arrives, Nicholas, who looks younger than he actually is, is targeted by the resident gang, known as the Spiders. And Mr. Collum, the head of the school, seems to think that only the most draconian measures --- which include bricking in Nicholas's window and locking his door from the outside --- can save our narcoleptic hero from himself. Even worse, Nicholas is barred from utilizing the school's amazing library, which is "the most exciting spectacle of his life."

But Nicholas, whose eyes and ears are always open and who can memorize text and map out floor plans without thinking twice about it, won't be so easily cowed. He is bound and determined to make his time at Child's End not an end but a beginning. When he finds a hidden reference to a secret treasure room, he starts down the road of puzzle-solving and mystery-investigating that will define the rest of his life.

Trenton Lee Stewart has a gift for portraying kids who are precocious but never annoying. It could be easy to dislike a boy who is as unapologetically brilliant and self-confident as the young Nicholas Benedict. But his genuine joy of learning and exploration, as well as his abiding hope that things can and will get better, make him a likable and sympathetic character. As with the other Mysterious Benedict Society novels, readers will enjoy challenging themselves to solve puzzles alongside the hero, and they'll root for him and themselves as they proceed together toward the kind of treasure that Nicholas least expects but most needs.

Readers who already love these books will appreciate the familiarity of Stewart's approach, and those who are just meeting young Master Benedict for the first time will be charmed and challenged in equal measure.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on April 30, 2012
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