“The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict,” by Trenton Lee Stewart (one of my “Just To The Side” books)

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January 15, 2014 by dangemeinhart

NicholasBenedictThis is one of my “Just To The Side” books (what does this mean?)

AR:  6.2

Lexile:  900

Pages:  470

Genres:  Friendship, Series

Just try to imagine, bold reader: you’re a brilliant orphan, super-intelligent but from time to time you fall suddenly asleep, no matter where you are.  You are moved to a grim new orphanage (because your screaming nightmares were bothering the other orphans at your old place), where you are soon targeted by a ruthless group of bullies known as the “Spiders.”  There is a silver lining, though: you make the first friend of your life, and you discover clues to a hidden treasure that just might turn your lonely life of misery around.

Poor Nicholas Benedict, the hero of this book, will have to use all of his remarkable smarts and determination to try and survive the Spiders, help his friends, save the orphanage, and maybe (just maybe) find a little happiness for himself as well.

Bullies!  Murderous donkeys!  Secret midnight meetings!  Speed reading!  Abandoned mines!

This is a great story.  The writing is clever and sharp, and Nicholas Benedict is a hopeless kind of hero that every part of you will root for.  This is, however, a pretty long book.  And it’s pretty hard, too.  But if you’re the kind of reader who loves to fall into the words of a long story and get to know a character like a friend, The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict is a book you’ll love getting lost in.  It’s a thick read, but one I enjoyed every minute (or, really, hour) of.  It’s a bestest book, just to the side a bit.


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