Trenton Lee Stewart · 485 pages
Rating: (100.7K votes)
“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn't depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.”
“Rules and school are tools for fools! I don't give two mules for rules.”
“Oh, here’s a clever one. Do you remember this question from the first test? It reads, ‘What’s wrong with this statement?’ And do you know what Constance wrote in reply? She wrote, ‘What’s wrong with you?”
“Is this what family is like: the feeling that everyone’s connected, that with one piece missing, the whole thing’s broken?”
“And please don't call me that."
I didn't call you 'that', I called you George Washington.”
“Children are capable of such open rudeness.”
“Every great thinker keeps a journal, you know.”
“The missing aren't missing, they're only departed,
All minds keep all thoughts - so like gold - closely guarded,”
“Why, then, do you think the white player might have done it?”
Reynie considered. He imagined himself moving out his knight only to bring it right back to where it started. Why would he ever do such a thing? At last he said, “Perhaps because he doubted himself.”
“Poor Kate,” said Constance, “she’s lost her marbles.”
“One problem with being a leader, is that even among your friends you are alone, for it is you -- and you alone -- to whom the others look for final guidance.”
“Grow the lawn and mow the lawn
always keep the TV on,
brush your teeth and kill the germs,
poison apples, poison worms.”
“Daddy, will you take me to the mill, again?”
“Reynie's fce fell. 'It's not funny, Kate.'
For a moment - a fleeting moment - Kate looked desperately sad. 'Well, of course it's not funny, Reynie Muldoon. But what do you want me to do? Cry?”
“Was it worse for him, Reynie wondered, to have felt loved and then rejected? Or was it worse to have always felt alone?”
“She announced her age right away, for children consider their ages every bit as important as their names.”
“Milligan! Come and tell us why you're so dreadfully glum!" ~ Constance, The Mysterious Benedict Society”
“Everything is as it should be.”
“Something about this made Reynie uneasy. Had he done so badly? Was this meant to test his courage? He did as he was told, closing his eyes and bracing himself as best he could.
"Why are you flinching?" the pencil woman asked.
"I don't know. I thought maybe you were going to slap me."
"Don't be ridiculous. I could slap you perfectly well with your eyes open. I'm only going to blindfold you.”
“I can't say for sure, because I have no experience, but -- well, is this what family is like? The feeling that everyone's connected, that with one piece missing the whole thing's broken?”
“They stared out their window at night enough to know where the darkest shadows lay, and it was to the darkest shadows they kept.”
“No one seems to realize how much we are driven by FEAR, the essential component of human personality. Everything else - from ambition to love to despair - derives in some way from this single powerful emotion.”
“You are the smartest children i know. You just don't beleive it.”
“For every exit, there is also an entrance.”
“Don't thank me,' Mr. Curtain called as the door slid closed. 'Impress me!”
“If we're just trying to be accurate, then how about 'The Doomed to Fail Bunch'?" said Constance.
"Honestly! We can't even name ourselves.”
“At this, Constance sat down on a rock and covered her face. She seemed smaller than ever now - so small the harbor breeze might catch her up like a scrap of paper and carry her away, carry her into nowhere.”
“Oh dear,"cried Rhonda just then, for Mr. Benedict, awash in strong emotion, has gone to sleep.with a sudden loud snore he toppled forward into the attentive arms of Rhonda and Number Two, who eased him to the floor.
"What's wrong with him?" Constance asked.
"He has narcolepsy," said Kate.
"He steals a lot?"
"That's kleptomania," Sticky said. "Mr. Benedict sleeps a lot.”
“Looks like you suck at volleyball just as much as you do at making late night phone calls.”
“Come now, n let us reason  together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as o white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
“Alexis de Tocqueville, the French thinker who keenly chronicled early American society, described the consequences of ever-increasing choice more than 170 years ago:
In America I have seen the freest and best educated of men in circumstances the happiest to be found in the world; yet it seemed to me that a cloud habitually hung on their brow, and they seemed serious and almost sad even in their pleasures…. They clutch everything but hold nothing fast, and so lose grip as they hurry after some new delight.”
“I know a few things to be true. I do not know where I am going, where I have come from is disappearing, I am unwelcome and my beauty is not beauty here. My body is burning with the shame of not belonging, my body is longing.”
“Real protection means teaching children to manage risks on their own, not shielding them from every hazard.”
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