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a book recommendation from my ten year old

    Our oldest son just turned 10 and loves to read. He’s not all that interested during the day, but at night, give him a good book and he will read hours past his bedtime.


    I’m always on the lookout for good books for boys and bought the first book in this series at the school book fair based solely on the cover (I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but I totally do and the cuter the cover, the more likely I am to pick it up). I then found a boxed set of the whole series and again, I just couldn’t resist the great illustrations/lettering and bought him the collection for Christmas.


    He read the prequel (The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict) and couldn’t put it down. He insisted that I must read it, and he was sure I would love it. I always wanted to be that mom who read whatever her children were reading, but so far, this kid has lapped me a thousand times and I haven’t even attempted to keep up. This was especially true during his infatuation with those ridiculous comic-type books like Captain Underpants and Big Nate. Sorry … this mama has no interest in 8 year old boy humor.

    But this book – this whole Mysterious Benedict Society series – this is something I can get in to.


    I finished the first book yesterday while feeling kinda sick and even though it is written for kids in grades 3-7, it was a perfectly captivating, intriguing, charming read for me as well. My 10 year old was right – I did love the book.

    Now on to the next one …

    If you are looking for a good series for your kids (or you!), this one comes highly recommended by both my son and I.


    Learn more about the books here or purchase the set here.

    46 thoughts on “a book recommendation from my ten year old”

    1. Thank you for the recommendation. I picked up books 1 & 2 for my 11 yr old daughter, and she loves them! If you come across other good reads for this age group, I would really appreciate you passing it on because my daughter is a bookworm & I’m always on the hunt for worthwhile books to satisfy her appetite for reading. Thanks again!

    2. I got the email about this right as I was entering my college library. Checked out the first one and can’t wait to read it. I’m an elementary reading teacher student and love to hear of kids soaking up books and recommending them! Good for him! :)

    3. Our daughter read the first MBS tome when it came out and then counted the days until the next one in the series appeared on the shelves. She is now 14, but has held on to her collection to read again and again!

    4. I read these books to see if they were ok for my kids (two are 7 and one is 6). The oldest one is almost 7.5 and I think he’s getting ready to handle it. I also just read all the 39 Clues books for same reason – they’re pretty good but a teeny more intense on the whole people trying to kill them thing.

    5. Thanks for another tales collection. I’m anticipating the April release of the final book of The Wingfeather Saga by Christ follower and songwriter Andrew Peterson. I have laughed, wept, and reread the stories to enjoy them even more. They are hilarious.. full of us swashbuckling..crazy animals… heart filled, tender hugs… sorrow… rescue and redemption. Thanks to BigMama for the recommendation. And Emily, thanks for the telling about us about the Benedict Society. I look forward to exploring the suggestions by my fellow readers and passing them on.

    6. Oh my gosh. I totally read this book before I even had kids. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon it but I loved it! And I want to read the rest of the books too. Looking forward to passing my copy to my son or daughter (in about 7 years). :)

    7. Thanks for the recommendation, my son is ten too and although he doesn’t LOVE to read, I do and I think we will enjoy these together. Oh and covers always get me too!!!

    8. Thank you so much for the recommendation. My son is only seven but is a very good reader. He has only read books that he can finish in one sitting but I have been wanting to get him into a series. We will definitely be checking these out!

    9. We have 2 boys, ages 14 and 11. We’re finishing the Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict right now, and have read the first 3 already. Loved them all! Definitely on our favorite books for boys list.

    10. Another great book suggestion for girls of that age is Alan Bradley’s Favia de Luce series. It’s soooo great! The character is a smart and spunky 11 year old girl from an eccentric English family in the 1950’s and she’s always solving murder mysteries. I got them for my daughter and couldn’t put them down!

    11. Such great books. We read the first three before the prequel came out, but we loved the prequel just the same. The related puzzle book, The Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict’s Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums, is fun, too!

    12. I’m so excited! I am homeschooling my 3rd and 7th grader this year and we were trying to find a series we haven’t read yet to read together. And since we focus much of our lessons around creative projects, the illustrations look like they might be an inspiration for a lesson, too! This seems perfect! Thank you!

    13. Loved your post! I am reading the 2nd in the Benedict series with my kids (didn’t know there was a prequel!). I bought the first one at TJ Maxx and read it with my kids (girl age 9 and boy age 7) about a year ago. Then I found the next two. It is a great read aloud at night book. Very exciting and great details (my daughter loves to see what she can recall from previous night’s reading!).

    14. So glad you featured these books. My 20 year old daughter loved these when they first came. She had to longingly wait for each new title. She was probably 12 or 13. She loved them and I can’t tell you how many copies I have given or donated.
      Thanks for the reminder, I will start them with my 10 year old son when he finishes the Percy Jackson series, that is what he is devouring these days.

    15. My 12 year old daughter is rereading the entire collection for the 2nd time. She loves them so much, she recommends this series to all of her friends!

      And for those participating in Accelerated Reader “AR”, the books range in points from 15-19 pts.

    16. Our family loved those books! So many amazing discussions came out of reading the books. We had an opportunity to hear the author speak – he was an interesting man, and definitely helped the kids expand their reading.

    17. I love these too, and I am 53:) I find myself reading a lot of kids/teens books, they are not writing down to kids, adults can easily find these very fascinating stories well worth the read.
      I have only read two of them, I have to start over, it’s been too long to remember details for the rest of them.
      Great book series;)

    18. I bought the first book in this series solely because I liked the illustrations. It ended up being a GREAT read! I didn’t realize it was part of a series, I will have to check out the rest of them. :)

    19. I’m so visual. I’m drawn to pretty things and those books would totally capture me as well. Love the illustration. Thank you for sharing and I think my girl will probably like them too!

    20. THANK YOU!! I will take your word on this, since I loved many of the books you listed as your faves several months ago (summer reading list??). Thanks for sharing. My 8 and 10 year olds will love this series, I’m sure!

    21. That is too funny, I’ve got those books marked to read, he may also like the Wildwood series by Colin Meloy. They just came out with the 3rd book, great illustrations, if he has not already read. I’m reading Wildwood with my 11 year old son.

    22. thank you so much for this tip off! my nine year old boy is an avid reader and has just finished a series bought for Christmas so I’ve ordered this today! And yes I too love pretty looking books which are very rare for boys…

    23. Thank you for recommending great books for boys! If you’re looking for another good series, my son started the Tin-Tin graphic novels when he was about that age. They are great, quick, reads for kids. They are a little tough to find in stores but Barnes & Noble online has a great selection.

    24. I have a couple of kids who love. to. read. They always get at least one boxed set for Christmas. I think reading gives kids back imagination. I think imagination has been stolen by all those games and toys that tell them exactly what to do. Books are like a movie played out in your mind as the story unfolds!

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