ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD Looking for special opportunities?
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enrol to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear listener, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.
As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
Welcome to the mysterious benedict society.
My favourite aspect of the book was the charactersI i loved how each of the characters had unique personalities, quirks and skills. Reynie was the natural leader of the group. Although he wasn’t book-smart, he had lots of creative just-in-time solutions. Sticky was a shy and timid boy who had a knack for remembering everything he read. Kate was resourceful and independent; she had a bucket of tools and never backed down for a challenge. And Constance was whiny and disagreeable… but she had a good heart and a hidden talent. I loved watching these characters get to know and rely on each other as they embark on Mr. Benedict’s challenge.
The story was complex and full of twists and turns. I never knew what was going to come up next. Each time the kids were met with a challenge, I wondered how they would survive! I loved the clever puzzles that the kids had to solve — many of which had me stumped! This novel had me on the edge of my seat.
Despite this being a middle grade novel, the themes of this book were relatable for me as an adult reader. I loved that the characters were able to face challenges like conquering self-doubt, choosing what is right over what is easy, and learning to rely on others. Watching the kids learn and grow brought tears to my eyes.
Without any spoilers, I liked that the plot of this book touched on mental illness in a nonjudgmental way.
I loved the writing in this book. Usually I am not used to omniscient narrators but I felt that it really worked well in this book, and I liked that each of the POVs were talked about.
Lastly, this book is so unique with a creative, genre-defying premise that I wouldn’t know what to compare it to!
Overall I really enjoyed the book and didn’t have any major complaints. It took a while for me to get into the book initially, however after the first 1/3 or so, I was hooked!
I loved this unique book about extraordinary characters who risked their lives for a cause they believed in. This should be a middle grade classic!
Are there books that you think will be or should be MG/YA classics?
Photo by Tim Rebkavets on Unsplash
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