I love when sequels are just as good. As in its predecessor, The Mysterious Benedict Society consists of four orphans (now happily living with various loved ones via reunion or adoption!) solving puzzles through working together. When Mr. Benedict, namesake, gets kidnapped, the kids must band together again.
Putting aside quibbles and nervousness, each of the kids uses their strength to navigate around the world, sans adult supervision, and through the various puzzles and mysteries we loved so much in the first book. They feel guilty leaving their families worried, but do it for their beloved Mr. Benedict.
Through Portugal, Holland and Scotland, Reynie leads the group with his common sense and spot-on interpersonal intuition. Sticky gets to show off his skills at memorizing and foreign languages, sometimes to the annoyance of his mates. Kate's strengths are physical- she is fast, fearless, strong, and always has a bucket of supplies. Constance, age three, is astoundingly predictive... leaving us wondering whether or not she possesses psychic powers. I like that this book points out that there are lots of different ways to be smart, and that they're all important when you're facing amphibious forms of transportation, old Dutch journal articles, businessmen assassins (they use stapler removers and very sharp pencils as weapons!), and coded letters from a famed cryptologist.