Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict

Title : The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict 
(Mysterious Benedict Society #0.5)
Writer : Trenton Lee Stewart
Number of Page : 496
Publisher : Little Brown Books

Before there was a Mysterious Benedict Society, there was simply a boy named Nicholas Benedict. Meet the boy who started it all....Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict has more problems than most children his age. Not only is he an orphan with an unfortunate nose, but also he has narcolepsy, a condition that gives him terrible nightmares and makes him fall asleep at the worst possible moments. Now he's sent to a new orphanage, where he encounters vicious bullies, selfish adults, strange circumstances -- and a mystery that could change his life forever. Luckily, he has one important thing in his favor: He's a genius. 

On his quest to solve the mystery, Nicholas finds enemies around every corner, but also friends in unexpected places -- and discovers along the way that the greatest puzzle of all is himself.

In my opinion:
It's been quite some time since I last read Mysterious Benedict Society. I love the series. It's heartwarming and funny at the same time. Also, Trenton Lee Stewart could deliver such unique and rhythmic sentences that only feel right in children books. Classic and perfect.

This book was set before Mysterious Benedict Society was born. The story was about Nicholas Benedict himself, the founder. The most memorable thing from Nicholas Benedict was his narcolepsy. He would suddenly sleep if he experienced deep feeling. I spontaneously laughed when I read the part where he fell asleep in the middle of his weird laugh. 

I could not describe how good this book was. Like Nicholas Benedict himself, this book was genius. I felt sad seeing how lonely Nicholas was, how he was bullied and alienated, how he could only find comfort in the form of books. I also felt happy when Nicholas could outsmart all his bullies and adults, how he could create anything from scraps, how he could always find ways out only with his wit and brain... There was also a dark impression due to the mysterious treasure. I like the adventure of Nicholas Benedict as detective. Such a creative and interesting journey. 

The answer for all the mystery itself was unexpected and wonderful. It felt climactic although it was so simple and realistic. At the end, I just think that the story was such a complete package deal. I got all what I expected from a novel. Nice description, unique way of delivery, memorable and likable characters, thrills, mysteries, friendship, sadness, and happiness. Definitely my favorite!


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