The Kids Are All Right

Cover Reveal: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of the Ages

Hi Kid Lit friends!

I’m so excited to bring to you the cover reveal for The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages by Trenton Lee Stewart! This bestselling series has sold over three million copies worldwide, thrilling a generation of readers.

Sponsored by our What’s Up in YA Giveaway of a $100 gift card to Amazon! Enter here.




I had the opportunity to ask author Trenton Lee Stewart some questions. Check out our conversation below, but first, please take a moment to admire this beautiful cover!

Karina Yan Glaser: I just learned that The Mysterious Benedict Society series has sold over three million copies. When you started writing the first book, did you ever expect for it to take off the way it did?

Trenton Lee Stewart: I didn’t even know it would be published! At that point I’d published only short stories, was still seeking a publisher for my first novel for adults, and had never written for kids. I had hopes, of course, but I kept my expectations low. When I mailed the manuscript from a post office on a rainy day in June, I knew that was possibly the beginning of the end forThe Mysterious Benedict Society. You can imagine how fortunate I feel that things turned out otherwise.

KYG: Tell us about your newest book in the series, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages.

TLS: As this adventure kicks off, the Society members find themselves at a crossroads: Reynie Muldoon is being recruited by prestigious universities; George “Sticky” Washington has been offered the chance to run a famous lab; Kate Wetherall’s on track to become a top secret agent; and the brilliant young telepath Constance Contraire, in danger of being left behind, is predictably furious. Then disaster strikes: the notorious villains known as the Ten Men have mysteriously escaped from prison and are plotting to free the Society’s old nemesis – the world’s most dangerous genius, Ledroptha Curtain – from a high-security facility called the KEEP. Using their extraordinary talents, the four friends once again band together to save the day – and possibly the Society itself.

Like the previous adventures,this one features riddles, clues, and quirky conundrums that readers can attempt to solve alongside the Society. (And most important: the incorrigible Constance is still composing rude poetry.)

KYG: I cannot wait for the riddles! And the rude poetry! Before I get too off topic, let’s talk about the covers of this series. They are so fun and distinctive. Can you tell us about the cover art for this new book and what the scene depicts?

TLS: When the illustrious illustrator Carson Ellis got things rolling with the cover of the first book, she cleverly incorporated various elements from throughout the story into a single scene (shadowy figures spied through windows, chess-piece topiaries, etc). On each cover since then, the equally amazing Diana Sudyka has worked the same magic. In this case, we see the Society members a bit older than in previous installments, but still in typical form: Reynie the problem-solver (here depicted as the pilot) doing his best to chart their course; Kate the physical phenom bringing the bravado, looking boldly ahead; Sticky the human encylopedia frightened but determined as he clings to the wing; and the impossibly stubborn Constance seeming to defy even the laws of physics. The silhouette in the window will be familiar to fans of the series from previous covers, but here might refer specifically to a mysterious new character, known as the Listener, who jeopardizes the Society’s plans. There’s a new young character in the story as well – an irrepressible little boy named Tai Li, seen here with Reynie in the cockpit. Naturally, they have a sinister Ten Man on their tail, and Kate’s pet falcon Madge is dutifully along for the mission. The picture is symbolic rather than a depiction of any particular scene – but there really is a plane in the book, just as there was a bus in the last adventure, a ship in the one before that, and of course Mr. Benedict’s rambling old three-story house in the first.

KYG: Ooh, I can’t wait to read it and meet the newest character, which leads me to wonder, do you have a writing routine?

TLS: It’s pretty straightforward. Once my kids are off to school, I drink coffee and get to work. Sometimes I might appear to be only drinking coffee, but that’s an illusion. Totally an illusion. It might also appear, sometimes, that I am procrastinating. But appearances can be deceiving. I’m just going to leave it at that.

KYG: Hmm, that sounds very similar to my writing routine, only swap the coffee for tea. Now for the last (and most important) question: what is your favorite thing about writing for kids?

TLS: That’s easy: It lets me be a kid again myself (but without the scraped knees and cafeteria lunches.) I always daydreamed about going on adventures when I was young. Writing adventure novels for young readers now is a way of sharing those daydreams – and making them just a little more real. (In other words: It’s fun.)

Look for The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages in September 24, 2019! You can preorder it anywhere books are sold beginning tomorrow, Monday, March 11.


I would love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at

Until next time!

I’m writing this newsletter from Chicago, where I have just done author visits with a couple thousand students! I’m on my way home to New York City, and I can’t wait to get back to my family and pets. I did meet a super adorable cat on my travels, though. His name is Jefferson. Isn’t he amazing?

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*