Saturday, January 10, 2009

Two Thumbs Up for MBS

"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"

The results are in: fourth graders love The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. And what's not to love? The four main characters are wonderfully unique and likeable, there are countless opportunities to solve mind-bending puzzles, and the non-stop adventure keeps your fingers turning page after page after page. The plot revolves around four "gifted" children who are brought together through a series of strange tests given by Mr. Benedict. We immediately took to Reynie, the main protagonist, who is a problem solver by nature and reluctant leader of the MBS. The other characters include Sticky Washington (don't call him by his real name--George!) the human encyclopedia, Kate Wetherill, the acrobatic daredevil, and Constance Contraire, the tiny klutz with a sour attitude. Mr. Benedict has gathered the children together to help him with a top secret dangerous mission. The four of them must work together to foil a treacherous villian from sending messages through the minds of innocent people. My students loved solving the puzzles along with the characters and even learned Morse Code! Although the 512 pages look intimidating, we devoured this book in record time and were pleased to learn of a sequel, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey.
Recipe to Read By: Snickerdoodles
Mystery stories call for a recipe with a mysterious past. No one knows where the name “snickerdoodle” comes from and even the origin of the cookie is shrouded in mystery, but what isn’t mysterious is where all the cookies go when you make this delicious recipe.
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Stir in the eggs. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended. In a small bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the cinnamon. Roll dough into walnut sized balls, then roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar. Place them onto an unprepared cookie sheet, two inches apart.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be slightly brown.
Remove from sheets to cool on wire racks.
4. Eat under the covers with a flashlight and a copy of The Mysterious Benedict Society.
*Recipe courtesy of


  1. Rawley, What an awesome, creative combination of wonderful literature and delicious delectibles!! You are so very clever and I am so proud of you!!! Your Mom and I never had teachers like YOU!!!:) Love, SuSu

  2. That just made me hungry!