Something “Mysterious”

May 22nd, 2008 • Kate

Most agents, if you know them well enough (or get them drunk) can tell you about the “book that got away”: the manuscript in their to-read pile they didn’t read before another agent snapped it up, the project they passed on that was sold by a colleague for big bucks, the super-duper mega-bestseller they thought sounded like a retread of everything they’d ever read before with nothing original about it. And then, in a different category of books that got away, there’s the one they maybe sold or worked on in a previous incarnation — as an editor, perhaps, before they hung out their own shingle, or the Times bestseller whose royalties are all going straight to their former agency after they set out on their own. For me, one of those books that I think of fondly, and wish all the very best success in the world, is Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society, and its just-released sequel, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. I was honored to sell the foreign rights to Trent’s books when I was at Janklow, and got to know the author, who is sweet, and kind, and generous, and deserves all his success. If you haven’t already read MBS, you’re missing something wonderful. As Trent’s editor Megan Tingly says in a recent PW article about the books’ appeal, “These kids are gifted but they don’t use a wand, or fly or have psychic ability. They rely on their ingenuity and force of will to solve problems and triumph over adversity. They have magical adventures without magic, which is really clever.”
They are clever, and I think you’ll love them. I’m putting in my order for The Perilous Journey right now.

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2 Responses to “Something “Mysterious””

  1. Caryn Says:

    I haven't read this one yet, although I've seen it around. Thanks for the recommendation; I checked out the synopsis on Amazon.com and am now planning to read it. (As if I needed more books in my TBR pile!)

  2. Trish Says:

    Since taking over the kids dept. at the bookstore, I've started a list of young readers/middle grades I'd like to read and that's one of the top on my list.