Trenton Lee Stewart
The daring foursome from the well-received The Mysterious Benedict Society (2007) returns in a second perilous adventure. As the book opens, the children reunite at Mr. Benedicts home, where he has arranged a treasure hunt. Alas, they discover that Benedict and his assistant are being held captive somewhere, and dire consequences will result if Benedicts evil twin doesnt receive the information he desires in four days. The children undertake a worldwide journey to save Benedict and find the duskwort that will cure his narcolepsy. Lots of backstory is needed to set up this sequel, which makes for a choppy beginning. In the previous book, the protagonists personal stories provided heft, but this is pure adventurelots of racing, scheming, fighting. Punches are pulled on the violence front, but the threat is always there, creating page-turning tension. Its this roller coaster, along with the essential goodness of the characters (except, perhaps, for Constance), that will draw kids to this breathless follow-up. Grades 4-7.
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