Discussing 'The Mysterious Benedict Society'

I’m only a few days late on this one! *smiles*

So… did you all get to read the fabulous ‘Mysterious Benedict Society’? I had never read it before this month and I finished it in less than three days… I loved it!

I was able to do some research and I found these questions to help prompt your thoughts (You can also comment with ANY aspect of the book that you either liked or disliked, the questions are just there for fun.) I plan on answering some of them too, but probably after my mom, dad, and new sister get back from China… :) Until then, I’m swamped.

Discussion Questions:

1.  Mr. Benedict recruits children who are all alone in the world.  Why? Is it a good reason, or a bad one?

2.  Reynie says he doesn’t like television. Do you believe him? How do YOU feel about television?  What kinds of messages really do come through TV, radio, and movies? Are they usually positive or negative?

3. Why is it so important for the Society to stay together and work as a team? Even though Constance seems to be a burden at times, what does she bring to the mission?

4. This book shows kids living very independently. For instance, before Mr. Benedict found them, Constance was living in a city library, Kate had joined the circus, and Sticky stowed away on a river barge. Do you think it’s really possible for kids to live like that? Do you think kids should be allowed such independence? Would you like to live on your own? What would you do?

5. At The Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened (L.I.V.E.), the children in the Mysterious Benedict Society are taught that there are no rules.  What is ironic about this statement?  Is there any truth to it?

6. There are several ranks at LI.V.E., including Executives and Messengers. What are the benefits of being an Executive?  A Messenger?  How do the kids serving in these roles differ from the members of the Mysterious Benedict Society?  How are they the same?

7.  What is the Whisperer? Why does it make the Messengers feel so good about themselves?  Why are Reynie and Sticky so terrified to become Messengers?  Are their fears founded?

8. Ledroptha Curtain and Mr. Benedict are both men guided by very strong beliefs that are very different — in what ways are
they similar?  Do you think that they could ever work together?  Why?

9. Which of the four members of the Mysterious Benedict Society do you think has the best skill? Why?

10. What is YOUR special skill? What role would you play in the Mysterious Benedict Society?

11. How has the Mysterious Benedict Society helped each member grow? What do you think will happen to each of them in the future?

For some fun, check out the Curiosity Chronicle- the book’s official website… it has games, downloads, and other oddities

3 comments to Discussing ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’

  • Yeah! Glad you liked it! This is one of my all time favorite series. So good. And you have to read the next two. They are just as good as the first (maybe better), answer a lot of questions and are just plain fun:) I read the first two and then was waiting for forever for the third to come out. When it did, Mom bought it for me for Christmas but it got stuck on a shelf and I forgot about it until this summer when I pulled it out and fell in love all again.

    As for the discussion:

    1. Mr. Benedict recruits children who are
    all alone in the world. Why? Is it a good
    reason, or a bad one? Hmm…I think for the most part it was a good one. Since the mission was a rather dangerous one I guess it’s best that they didn’t have any ties. And because they were lonely they had to rely on each other.

    3. Why is it so important for the
    Society to stay together and work as a
    team? Even though Constance seems to be
    a burden at times, what does she bring to
    the mission? For ANYTHING UNIT whether it be the family of a church I think it is very important to work together. Working together as a unit accomplishes so much more then trying to do it all independently.

    4. This book shows kids living very
    independently. For instance, before Mr.
    Benedict found them, Constance was living
    in a city library, Kate had joined the circus,
    and Sticky stowed away on a river barge.
    Do you think it’s really possible for kids to
    live like that? Do you think kids should be
    allowed such independence? Would you
    like to live on your own? What would
    you do?
    Nay, I would definitely not like to live on my own. My family is way too awesome:D Sure, it’s possible…is it good? God made Eve because it was not good for man to be alone. So, no. I don’t think it’s good for anyone to be alone. Relationships with family, friends, etc. is very important not only to your physical health but also to your spiritual health.
    5. At The Learning Institute for the Very
    Enlightened (L.I.V.E.), the children in the
    Mysterious Benedict Society are taught
    that there are no rules. What is ironic
    about this statement? Is there any truth
    to it? Is there any truth to there being no rules in life? No. There are very clear rules laid out for people in the Bible. And, I mean, can you imagine a world without rules where every man could do (to quote Judges) “What is right in his own eyes”? The Israelites tried that path and they ended up not doing too good.

    7. What is the Whisperer? Why does it
    make the Messengers feel so good about
    themselves? Why are Reynie and Sticky so
    terrified to become Messengers? Are their
    fears founded? It makes you feel good by soothing you fears, if I remember correctly. Reynie and Sticky were terrified that they would not be able to withstand the brainwashing powers of the Whisperer. Yes, I think they were founded.

    8. Ledroptha Curtain and Mr. Benedict
    are both men guided by very strong beliefs
    that are very different — in what ways are
    they similar? Do you think that they could
    ever work together? Why? When two do not agree there is no unity. Without unity it is impossible to work together. Similarities….hmm…I’ll have to think on this one.

    GENERAL
    1. Which of the four members of the
    Mysterious Benedict Society do you think
    has the best skill? Why? Reynie. Leadership and a level head are two of the best gifts:D

    2. What is YOUR special skill? What role
    would you play in the Mysterious Benedict
    Society? My special skill? No idea…

    3. How has the Mysterious Benedict
    Society helped each member grow? What
    do you think will happen to each of them
    in the future? For one they all learned to take each other for their good and not so good points. They learned to work as a team and depend on others. In the future? I’ve read the next too books so I know what happens:D

    Okay, there you go! Looking forward to reading everyone’s answers!

  • 2. I do believe Reynie when he says he doesn’t like TV. I don’t like TV, but some times it just sucks you in. I’d have to say that the meesages coming through the TV are just terrible, horrid and not even worth repeating.

    4. I don’t think that the independence the kids had before Mr. Benidict found them is possible. I know I couldn’t cope.

    5. Oh, yes, the irony of that statment. I found it quiet funny, that it is in fact a rule to say there are no rules.

    General

    1. I don’t think I thought one of them was better than the other but I did like Kate alot. She was so creative and intresting.

    2. I have no special skills.

    3. I read the next two books so I think it would be cheating to answer that.

  • Brianna,

    I totally agree with what you said here:

    “5. At The Learning Institute for the Very
    Enlightened (L.I.V.E.), the children in the
    Mysterious Benedict Society are taught
    that there are no rules. What is ironic
    about this statement? Is there any truth
    to it? Is there any truth to there being no rules in life? No. There are very clear rules laid out for people in the Bible. And, I mean, can you imagine a world without rules where every man could do (to quote Judges) “What is right in his own eyes”? The Israelites tried that path and they ended up not doing too good.”

    And, I agree with both you and Lerowen… I could not cope without my family. I love them way too much!

    I’m not quite as “on it” as you girls are, but my answers are coming soon.

    Cassie

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