Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mystery and Morse Code

The last time I got this excited about a book was when my sis introduced me to the Harry Potter series. I remember reading HP Books One to Three in two days, not being able to put them down (OK, I was childless then and living under the same roof as my mom-in-law, a gifted cook and a sweetie at taking over the kitchen whenever I became a temporary zombie...me being culinarily challenged and all, I'm sure DH was immensely relieved).

This past week, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart has had me riveted. The plot may seem elitist to some, out-of-this-world to others...four gifted kids are recruited by the narcoleptic (narcolepsy is a sleep disorder) yet lovable Mr Benedict to infiltrate the dodgy Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened (LIVE). Their mission: to get to the root of the mysterious goings on there, and stop a brilliant maniac from taking over everyone's brains. And oh yes, the world is also experiencing some sort of Emergency...people doing odd things, times looking bad (Sound familiar? Not so out-of-this-world after all eh?).

Me thinks Mr Stewart has an enviable talent for making his characters shine. The Great Kate Weather Machine wistfully reminded me of the girl I might have grown up to be and Ms Perumal was a pleasant surprise...the rare (and may I say unlampooned) Tamil character in an American mystery novel. I can see myself picking this book up again and again. DS will read it in a few days (I kinda pre-read a lot of the stuff he reads...DH accuses me of being worse than the Malaysian Film Censorship Board). It will be interesting to see the kiddo's reaction to the book.

Anyway, inspired by the book, I suggested to DS that we both learn the Morse Code, a survival skill sorely needed in these dangerous times. We're using a trusty flashlight and The Dangerous Book for Boys as a reference.

It's good to know that Mr Stewart has a sequel, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (and looks like another planned for Oct 2009 release: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma). See his books below...plus other survival handbooks I have my eye on.

And a couple of interesting Morse Code links:
Learn Morse Code
English-Morse Code-English Conversion


  1. And you can make a morse-code machine in Science :)

    That looks a great book - I was a big mystery fan when I was a kid. Trixie Belden, Three Investigators, Nancy Drew etc etc etc!

  2. Aaah...yes. Mysteries. Sigh...miss those days when I used to be praised for reading them. Now I only get to read the ones DS is reading because there are just too many other books to pre-read LOL. I love Agatha Christie. And we used to get a lot of Enid Blyton back in Malaysia. The Five Find Outers was a favorite and Kate in The Mysterious Benedict Society reminded me so much of my childhood hero, Fatty (of Five Find Outers). Thanks for reminding me of the morse-code machine Kez! I'll post a little bit about our telegraph (from a science kit) in a few days.


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