Monday, March 18, 2013

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict - Book Review

Book: The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Genre: Children's / Mystery
Publisher/Publish Date: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / April 2012
Source: SF Public Library
Pages: 480
Rating: 3/5
Other books from author: The other books in the Mysterious Benedict Society
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Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict has more problems than most children his age. Not only is he an orphan with an unfortunate nose, but he also has narcolepsy, a condition that gives him terrible nightmares and makes him fall asleep at the worst possible moments.  
Now he's being sent to a new orphanage, where he will encounter vicious bullies, selfish adults, strange circumstances – and a mystery that could change his life forever. Luckily, he does have one thing in his favor: He's a a genius.
(*warning, this includes some spoilers*)
Nicholas is a character I fell in love with. He's cute, charming, smart, and a little quirky. While the book was a nice intro to his character and gave us the history of what happened prior to the other Mysterious Benedict Society Books, it falls a bit flat.

I think the only reason I didn't like this as much as the other Benedict Society book is the few number of characters. The voice of the book is the same, and I love that. And as I said, I love the character of Nicholas as well as John, and Violet, but the other characters are all bullies or shmarmy orphanage directors that didn't have much substance. 

The book mostly revolves around the mystery of the lost treasure, and the searching for it on the grounds of the orphanage. Stewart provides us with a beautiful setting, but fell behind in the plot points.  There wasn't really anything else going on, causing there not to be too much conflict. Maybe part of that was that I knew he would turn out ok, since I knew his future, but it just didn't do it for me.

If you like the other Mysterious Benedict Society I would read this one so you know the whole story. But if you are new to the series, please don't read this first. Start with the first book and fall in love with the endearing characters, and the complex plot lines.

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