I was so excited when I saw that this book had come out. I absolutely love the three previous Mysterious Benedict Society books by Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society, TMBS and the Perilous Journey, and TMSC and the Prisoner’s Dilemma). They are great reads for kids and young adults (and adults too of course : ) The books are packed with adventure, mystery, and drama, while at the same time teach valuable lessons about friendship, bullying, and other weighty issues.
This book tells us about Nicholas Benedict’s (the “teacher” of the children in the three previous novels) unusual childhood. I was skeptical. I thought I would be disappointed since the children I have grown to love in the other novels weren’t in this story, but that was not the case. I loved the characters just as much in this novel! It was very cool to see how all of the characters in this novel grow and some of the reasons why they turn into the people they do in the previously published novels.
Nicholas Benedict is your not-so-typical, super-smart, narcoleptic young boy. This story begins with his journey to a new orphanage (as Mr. Benedict is an orphan himself) called Rothschild’s End. He dreams of a fresh start where he will have friends and fit in, unfortunately that is not what immediately happens. Nicholas’s first warning by a fellow student is of the Spiders, the orphanage’s notorious bullies, before he even enters the building. And his new Headmaster, Mr. Collum, is not a compassionate or caring man.
However, Nicholas’ stay at Rothschild’s End isn’t all bad. He is able to learn many valuable life lessons, gain a couple amazing new friends (John and Violet), all while on the hunt for a hidden treasure. Will Nicholas and his two friends figure out where the treasure is located before the Mr. Collum? Can Nicholas ever “defeat” the Spiders? Is it possible for someone so different to fit in?