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History Literature / TheMysteriousBenedictSociety

12th Apr '16 7:29:53 PM JMQwilleran
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* PhonyPsychic: In ''The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict'', Nicholas Benedict uses his prodigious memory and talent for observing human behavior patterns to pass himself off as psychic at the orphanage at Rothschild's Inn. His tricks include quickly memorizing the names of everyone there, memorizing the entire layout of the building and seeming predict future events based on his observations of past behavior. He easily fools the younger children, though the older ones remain skeptical.
23rd Mar '16 12:28:32 AM JMQwilleran
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* HiddenPurposeTest: The second exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions that are absurdly complicated and deal with information no child would usually know. [[spoiler: The purpose of the test is not to see what the children know but how well they follow directions. At the beginning they're told to read every question before answering. Reynie takes the instructions literally and reads the whole test before answering any questions, and discovers that the answer to each question is hidden in another question in the same exam. ]]

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* HiddenPurposeTest: The second exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions that are absurdly complicated and deal with information no child would usually know. The children are told that they must correctly answer ''every'' question in order to pass the exam. [[spoiler: The purpose of the test is not to see what the children know but how well they follow directions. At the beginning they're told to read every question before answering. Reynie takes the instructions literally and reads the whole test before answering any questions, and discovers that the answer to each question is hidden in another question in the same exam. Sticky passes by shocking the examiner by answering almost all of the questions correctly without figuring out the trick, missing the last few only because he ran out of time and got nervous.]]
22nd Mar '16 9:10:28 AM JMQwilleran
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* FantasticFlora: Unusual plants play a large part in the Mysterious Benedict Society's adventures, thanks in part to Sticky's particular talent for recognizing the obscure plants he's read about in his books. In the original ''The Mysterious Benedict Society'' books, he discovers the traps on Nomansan Island thanks to them being hidden by drapeweed, a rare shade loving type of ivy. Later, it's Sticky's having spotted a patch of "wild chuck-root" (Euphorbia upchucuanhae) that helps the group in their plans, when they use it to give a bellyache to pretty much everyone in the Institute so that Reynie and Sticky can get their turns in the Whisperer sooner. The second book is itself focused largely around Mr. Benedict and his evil twin's attempts to acquire another rare plant, duskwort, which has the potential to cure their narcolepsy when mixed when other substances. In its normal form, however, it's an extremely potent plant that, when burned, releases smoke that can put entire villages to sleep, but it only thrives under very specific conditions. However, it it easily overtaken by thwart-wort, a clever mimic that looks just like it, but has none of the same useful chemical properties.

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* FantasticFlora: Unusual plants play a large part in the Mysterious Benedict Society's adventures, thanks in part to Sticky's particular talent for recognizing the obscure plants he's read about in his books. In the original ''The Mysterious Benedict Society'' books, book, he discovers the traps on Nomansan Island thanks to them being hidden by drapeweed, a rare shade loving type of ivy. Later, it's Sticky's having spotted a patch of "wild chuck-root" (Euphorbia upchucuanhae) that helps the group in their plans, when they use it to give a bellyache to pretty much everyone in the Institute so that Reynie and Sticky can get their turns in the Whisperer sooner. The second book is itself focused largely around Mr. Benedict and his evil twin's attempts to acquire another rare plant, duskwort, which has the potential to cure their narcolepsy when mixed when other substances. In its normal form, however, it's an extremely potent plant that, when burned, releases smoke that can put entire villages to sleep, but it only thrives under very specific conditions. However, it it easily overtaken by thwart-wort, a clever mimic that looks just like it, but has none of the same useful chemical properties.
22nd Mar '16 9:08:54 AM JMQwilleran
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* EvilCripple: Mr. Curtain [[spoiler:Averted because he merely uses the wheelchair to hide his narcolepsy.]].

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* EvilCripple: Mr. Curtain [[spoiler:Averted because he merely uses the wheelchair to hide his narcolepsy.]].]]
* FantasticFlora: Unusual plants play a large part in the Mysterious Benedict Society's adventures, thanks in part to Sticky's particular talent for recognizing the obscure plants he's read about in his books. In the original ''The Mysterious Benedict Society'' books, he discovers the traps on Nomansan Island thanks to them being hidden by drapeweed, a rare shade loving type of ivy. Later, it's Sticky's having spotted a patch of "wild chuck-root" (Euphorbia upchucuanhae) that helps the group in their plans, when they use it to give a bellyache to pretty much everyone in the Institute so that Reynie and Sticky can get their turns in the Whisperer sooner. The second book is itself focused largely around Mr. Benedict and his evil twin's attempts to acquire another rare plant, duskwort, which has the potential to cure their narcolepsy when mixed when other substances. In its normal form, however, it's an extremely potent plant that, when burned, releases smoke that can put entire villages to sleep, but it only thrives under very specific conditions. However, it it easily overtaken by thwart-wort, a clever mimic that looks just like it, but has none of the same useful chemical properties.
31st Jan '16 11:06:24 PM JMQwilleran
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* AsleepInClass: The plot of the first book of the series revolves around the members of the titular society acting as spies for Mr. Benedict at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. The pressures of this take their toll until one day Sticky, who has been doing very well otherwise, ends up falling asleep in class. For this, he gets teased by the Messenger student Martina Crowe, causing the entire class to laugh at him. In retaliation, Kate uses her feet to tie Martina's shoelaces to her desk, causing her to fall when she tries to get up. Constance also regularly falls asleep in class, though nobody teases her about it because she's not a good student. Also, though nobody knows it at the time, the only reason she does it is because she's [[spoiler:only [[ImprobableAge two years old]] and therefore of course takes regular naps.]]
31st Jan '16 10:50:46 PM JMQwilleran
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* TheInsomniac: When the children first meet Number Two, it's quipped that she "never sleeps." In actuality,, she does sleep, but only a very small amount, like maybe two-three hours a night. She has to compensate for this by eating a lot of snacks, which sometimes leaves her irritable if her blood sugar gets low. In the second book in the series, ''The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey'', it becomes a key plot point. When she and Mr. Benedict are captured and handcuffed in place in a cave on an island, her near-constant wakefulness allows her to work away at the fastening pin on her handcuffs and free herself. Unfortunately, in order to do this, she has to keep hidden the fact that she requires extra food in order to properly maintain her mental state. By the time she actually escapes, she is a state of delirium and no use to anyone.
3rd Jan '16 12:00:30 AM JMQwilleran
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* ObfuscatingStupidity: Early on in the first book, Reynie decides when he gets to the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened to give the impression of knowing as little as possible because the less you know, the less people suspect you, and perhaps the more they tell you.
2nd Jan '16 11:34:21 PM JMQwilleran
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* HiddenPurposeTest: The first exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions that are absurdly complicated and deal with information no child would usually know. [[spoiler: The purpose of the test is not to see what the children know but how well they follow directions. At the beginning they're told to read every question before answering. Reynie takes the instructions literally and reads the whole test before answering any questions, and discovers that the answer to each question is hidden in another question in the same exam. ]]

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* HiddenPurposeTest: The first second exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions that are absurdly complicated and deal with information no child would usually know. [[spoiler: The purpose of the test is not to see what the children know but how well they follow directions. At the beginning they're told to read every question before answering. Reynie takes the instructions literally and reads the whole test before answering any questions, and discovers that the answer to each question is hidden in another question in the same exam. ]]
2nd Jan '16 11:14:50 PM JMQwilleran
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* AdultFear: The series is full of this, both in-verse and to readers. Mr. Benedict doesn't like risking the lives of a bunch of children but realizes that his tasks can only be done by kids. The main characters are constantly in danger. A day after deciding to join Mr. Benedict and his friends they nearly get violently kidnapped in their own home. Constance, who is an incredibly precocious [[spoiler:''two'']] year old, gets electrocuted and stuffed in a bag. She's fine in the end but still. Oh, and by the way, there's a man out there who is kidnapping children and taking away people's memories, while broadcasting secret messages designed to prevent anyone from searching from them. After all, "the missing aren't missing, they're only departed."
30th Dec '15 8:41:10 PM JMQwilleran
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* CowardlyLion: Sticky ran away from his parents, often grows jittery or tongue-tied under pressure, and is afraid he'll never live up to his real name, George Washington. However, he always comes through for his friends, such that Reynie is proud to call him one of the bravest people he knows.
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