I’m enjoying a new (to me) book over the holiday break: The Mysterious Benedict Society, about several children- but one in particular – who are recruited by the odd, reclusive, Mr. Benedict. Their recruitment, itself, is a bit of an adventure. Each responded to this strange add appearing in the newspaper.
There are tests within tests to separate the wheat from the chaff. A test that’s a puzzle, a maze, tests of resourcefulness and honesty. And, when all that is over, the real work is just begun.
I originally bought this book for my son, who read a few pages and then decided that there wasn’t enough action in it and set it aside. But, seriously, buying for Harry is just cover for me to get whatever I want regardless of the age of the target audience, so I wanted to read it from the start.
I’ve heard of people doing book clubs specializing in just children’s books and it’s no wonder. The youth – young adult book market has exploded over the past decade or more as every author vies to be the next JK Rowling. Sure, it’s put a lot of crap into circulation, but there are also a lot of extraordinarily creative authors getting published who may not have seemed worth the risk fifteen years ago.
I’ve only just started the Benedict Society this weekend, so I can hardly give a fair review, but as far as I’ve read, I’m enraptured and can’t help but to want to spend my days lying in front of the fire reading.
The app I found today is called ‘Cargo Bot.’ It’s a puzzle game that introduces kids to programming algorithms in a way that they can immediately see working and grasp the concepts. I recommend it for any child (or even adult) interested in learning how computers think. It’s a little reminiscent of the late 70s programmable tank toy, Big Trak, except this app is actually fun for more than two minutes.
Imagine all the fun you can have delivering apples to your dad with your own Big Trak and transported (sold separately)! I thought this thing was the bee’s knees back then, but didn’t ever get my hands on one( it sold for a whopping $43) until much later when my friend Kevin and I were talking and he mentioned that he still had one.