Well, this is embarrassing.
Here we are about three months since I started this journey, and here I am finally finishing my FIRST BOOK for 2017. (Don't judge me.)
My first book for this wonderful journey is a prequel to The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. I've read the first two books in that series, but haven't read the third one yet. After my sister's prodding, she told me that reading the whole series was not a prerequisite for reading this book, and that this one was her favorite! So, my first book for this #yearof50books is:
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart
I'm not going to summarize the story for you. You can easily look that up for yourself.
Instead, I'd like to share some of the things I noticed about and learned from Nicholas Benedict and his friends.
1. Nicholas is a noticer. He pays attention and recognizes things that no one else sees. Of course, this is what affords him so many opportunities in the story, and one of the reasons I love it so much. He's not magical, nor does he have any "special powers"...he just pays attention! (He's also a genius, but I mean. Whatev.)
2. The importance of friendship. Nicholas has always done things on his own, so it doesn't really bother him to be alone. BUT, in this story, he learns the true significance of what it means to have (and be!) a friend.
3. It's interesting to me, and might be to you, that very little in this story is actually about the literal "education" that Nicholas receives. The extraordinary education is not one in the classroom, but the life lessons he learns through his interactions with people, his adventures at (and around) the orphanage, and his time spent in the library reading book after book after book after...
This book, and the series in general--even though I haven't read the last book yet--get my recommendation. I often recommend it to my middle school readers if they're looking for a page turner that is still quirky and creative, too.
Trenton Lee Stewart has also written another book, The Secret Keepers, that I'm looking forward to reading eventually, too!
If you want to check out the Benedict Society books, click here. I enjoyed reading about the characters and playing the strategy games there, too!
Starting this journey has been an extraordinary education for me. I took an online class this winter, which of course became quite a hindrance to my reading goal for this year.
That class is over now, and spring break starts tomorrow, so I'm hoping to get through at least one more book, maybe two, during this next week!
I've realized that if I say I value reading, then I need to spend more time doing that. I'm working on finding ways to incorporate more reading time into my daily routines, so if I come up with any extraordinary tips, I'll be sure to share them.
I've started a non-fiction read that I plan to share with you next, but do you have any reading recommendations for me as I continue? Share them in the comments!
In the meantime, be a Benedict. Be a noticer. The wonderful is happening all around!