This is a quirky mystery / science fiction novel that will intrigue readers who enjoy Roald Dahl’s novels or Blue Balliett’s mysteries. Reynie Muldoon is an orphan down on his luck when he is urged by his kind tutor to take a special test for gifted children. After a draining series of complicated and strange tests, Reynie and his new friend George Washington, aka Sticky, succeed in finishing. Two other children are chosen from the testing, Kate Weatherall and Constance Contraire, and they soon find themsleves in a tangle of odd events. When they meet Mr. Benedict, he tells them they have been chosen to help him save the rest of society from a dangerous villain who is brainwashing people through radiowaves in TVs. Next, the children must enter the evil Mr. Curtain’s own camp and become part of his strange crew in order to solve the mystery. But Mr. Curtain himself is full of surprises. Readers will be on the edge of their seats by the time this kooky novel comes to a close. If you like it, try the sequel, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
, or Whales on Stilts
by M. T. Anderson.