If you look at my bookshelves, you will quickly realize I enjoy a range of literature--and I really like good "young adult" literature. I have everything from Anne of Green Gables to the series to Harry Potter. I frequently reread books from my childhood, The Secret Garden being a perennial favorite.
When I was last in Barnes and Noble, I wandered through the children's section to see what I could possibly pick up for my nieces. One book caught my eye because of its cover art: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart*. I picked it up and read the first two chapters, and was instantly hooked--A is begging to borrow it because she did the same thing the other night at my apartment.
Without going into too much detail on the plot (A, after all, reads this blog), the story is compelling and empowering for young adult readers. Adults can also take delight in a story well told, as well as identify with the characters, who could contain shadows of our younger selves.
The Mysterious Benedict Society (the first in a series) has all the elements of a good narrative: compelling characters, a villain, mystery, secret agents, and a satisfying conclusion. I even teared up a couple of times. I definitely recommend it for adult readers who enjoy a good story and for older kids who want an adventure read.
*Who, incidentally, lives in Little Rock.