A bucket of hope
Posted on October 9th, 2012
Actually, only the boys and I were re-reading it. Peaches had never heard The Mysterious Benedict Society before. I can’t remember why we picked it up again. I think Roy made a special request and so we agreed to work our way through the first of the Trenton Lee Stewart trilogy.
Peaches was captivated. She has demonstrated a reliable enthusiasm for plucky, problem-solving girls—in the past, it has been teenaged inventor Violet Beaudelaire of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events—but the Benedict Society’s acrobatic, resourceful Kate Wetherall might be her all-time favorite.
Kate, another Great Orphan of Literature, ran away from state custody to join the circus. By the time we readers make her acquaintance she’s 11 and an accomplished athlete and performer. She can walk on her hands, tie shoelaces together with her toes and wiggle her way through air ducts to eavesdrop on the villain and focus of all the young society’s covert work, Ladroptha Curtain.
Peaches loved Kate’s bucket so much that she made her own just after we’d embarked together on the second book in the series, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. (You know how she is.) In this adventure, Kate has a brand-spanking new bucket, red with a lid. I think Peaches drew some of the inspiration for hers from Kate’s Bucket 2.0.
Some of Kate’s natural physical abilities get a boost with the aids and props she keeps inside of her bucket. Variously she carries marbles, falcon treats, a spyglass disguised as a telescope and a length of rope, all physical manifestations of her faith and hope in her own ingenuity. Inside she has “a pen, a highlighter and a duckie.” She tells me that she’s thinking about adding more things soon.
I like to think we all have buckets, things from which we can draw out supports and the occasional surprise.
We’re friends, you and I, so you can tell me: what’s in your bucket?∗