As is always the case with a society, some arguing remained to be done. -- The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart
It has so much going for it, right from the start. First off, it has one of those titles I wish I'd made up: The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Second of all, fantastic cover, isn't it? And every chapter has an illustration by the wonderful Carson Ellis, and, well, what can I say, I still love a book with good illustrations.
Best of all, it's just a darn good book. Reynie Muldoon and three other uniquely gifted children pass a series of tests in order to go off to a special institution and, quite frankly, save the world. So it's all about their secret mission: codes, danger, puzzles, mysteries, teamwork... all those good things.
Everything else is wonderful too: it's full of quirky and loveable characters (how can you not adore Sticky Washington? I kept wanting to send him warm cookies every time he got nervous), frightening villains (seriously, Ledroptha Curtain would scare me spitless), and unguessable plot twists (... which I don't want to give away. But beware of suited men with silver bracelets...). It's full of danger and yet so much heart. You'll have a blast.
Recommendation: It's the sort of book you'll want to read with a flashlight in bed. Better yet, make yourself a tent and spend your weekend inside with this book. It's perfect for an autumny, blustery weekend like this one.
If we're all lucky, there will be rain.