the mysterious benedict society

Stuff We Like :: 11.20.15

home|school|life's Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources.

Cross your fingers for me that by the time you’re reading this I’ll be getting permission to actually stand up—for the first time in 12 weeks! I love my family and my life, but being able to get to the bathroom on my own is totally what I’m thankful for this year.

around the web ::

If you know me, you might think that this history of yarn in video games was written just for me.

Have you ever wondered what to call all those different Lego pieces? You’re not the only one.

There was an actual light saber duel at the Fencing World Championships. 

I love these photos of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island.

 

at home/school/life ::

in the magazine: It’s the perfect gift for you or your favorite homeschooler: Get a subscription to home/school/life for just $12 through Nov. 30 with the code “thankyou.” Because we’re thankful for you!

on the blog :Lisa redefines her notion of having it all.

on pinterest: I think I’m definitely going to be making a couple of these Totoro plushies this year.

 

reading list ::

We’ve been listening to The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (hilarious) and The Mysterious Benedict Society (again) while working on our holiday crafting.

I borrowed a page from Bryn’s book and am working my way through the Flavia de Luce mystery novels. They’re pretty delightful. I am just tucking into book four in the series.

Are you a Laurie Colwin fan? I picked up a copy of Home Cooking for my Kindle (on sale for $1.99 right now —love that!), which I read years ago and loved and now can’t believe I have gone so many years without rereading.

 

at home ::

Knitting update: Boxy finished. I’m halfway through my Ecken + Kanten, which is, as I suspected a totally fun knit. (I am striping it with color changes every two rows, so it seems like it's going really fast.) Fisherman's pullover cast on, but it’s kind of sitting in its bag right now. I am feeling ambitious and accomplished right now, so I am thinking of making a pair of Vancouver Specials for everyone—that overconfidence could change at any moment since I have both short rows and picking up stitches ahead of me.

Jason and I have been watching Jane the Virgin, which may be my favorite new show. Rogelio is definitely my favorite new character—#rogeliomybrogelio. (If you like sweet and snarky television, it’s worth checking out.)

We are planning an exciting week of board games and movies to celebrate Thanksgiving next week. I’ve been bummed about not cooking this year, but we’ve ordered a pretty impressive feast—and I’m starting to get behind the idea of not having to do all those dishes. I hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving, too!


Bespoke Book Lists: Books Like the Mysterious Benedict Society

One of my favorite people just finished racing through The Mysterious Benedict Society and itssequels and wanted to know what she should read next. So B, this one’s for you!

The Mysterious Benedict Society
By Trenton Lee Stewart
 
Chasing Vermeer
By Blue Balliett
The Wright 3
By Blue Balliett
The Calder Game
By Blue Balliett

If you enjoyed reading about smart kids banding together to solve a mystery, check out Blue Baillett’s books, starting with Chasing Vermeer and continuing with The Wright 3 and The Calder Game. Petra, Calder, and Tommy are intelligent, resourceful detectives, who use math and problem-solving skills to solve art mysteries. Oh, that makes these books sound kind of stodgy, but I promise, they're not!

 

Want more brain-teasing puzzles? Pick up The Puzzling World of Winston Breen. (You can follow up with The Potato Chip Puzzles and The Puzzler’s Mansion.) Winston loves puzzles, and you can solve them right along with him as you work your way through this book and follow Winston on a hunt for a hidden inheritance.

 

Have you read The Westing Game yet? Because, if not, you should go and read it right now. Turtle is as smart as Renny, as resourceful as Kate, and almost as stubborn as Constance as she tries to solve the clues to win millionaire Samuel Westing’s inheritance. It’s one of my favorite books.

OK, The Farwalker’s Quest (first in the FarwalkerTrilogy) is a fantasy book, so it’s not set in the real world like The Mysterious Benedict Society is. But friends Ariel and Zeke have to be just as brave and clever as the Society when they discover a magical artifact that forces them into an adventure that’s far away from their ordinary lives.

In another series that puts a fantasy twist on adventure, 12-year-old Stephanie Edgley, in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, teams up with the eponymous undead detective-slash-sorcerer to protect the world from the evil and manipulative Nefarian Serpine. Stephanie is everything you could want in a heroine: smart, sassy, brave, and often hilarious. I think you might love this series.

 

The Gollywhopper Games
By Jody Feldman
The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep
By Michael Wexler, John Hulme

Forgive it for borrowing so obviously from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and I think you might enjoy The Gollywhopper Games, too. Gil Goodson is determined to win the Golly Toy & Game Company’s ultimate competition, and you’ll be right there with him, mastering trivia and solving puzzles, to get to the finish line. (The next two books in the series are fun, too.)

You might also enjoy Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, in which game-loving Kyle and his new friends must solve clues and secret puzzles to find their way out of the library belonging to the world’s most notorious game maker. This one might be a fun read-aloud.

If you don’t mind your books getting a bit silly, check out The Glitch in Sleep, the first book in the Seems series. The book’s premise — that our world is actually constructed somewhere else, from pre-packaged dreams for your sleep to a giant water tank that regulates precipitation — is kind of delightful, and Becker Drane, newly promoted Fixer, is about to face a Glitch in the Department of Sleep. You'll find lots of high-tech shenanigans and much silly fun to be had.