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We the Children

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Benjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It sounds like a dream come true! But lately, Ben has been wonder if he’s going to like an amusement park in the middle of his town—with all the buses and traffic and eight dollar slices of pizza. It’s going to change everything. And, Ben is not so big on all the new changes in his life, like how Benjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It sounds like a dream come true! But lately, Ben has been wonder if he’s going to like an amusement park in the middle of his town—with all the buses and traffic and eight dollar slices of pizza. It’s going to change everything. And, Ben is not so big on all the new changes in his life, like how his dad has moved out and started living in the marina on what used to be the "family” sailboat. Maybe it would be nice if the school just stayed as it is. He likes the school. Loves it, actually. It’s over 200 years old and sits right on the harbor. The playground has ocean breezes and the classrooms have million dollar views…MILLION DOLLAR views. And after a chance—and final—run-in with the school janitor, Ben starts to discover that these MILLION DOLLAR views have a lot to do with the deal to sell the school property. But, as much as the town wants to believe it, the school does not belong to the local government. It belongs to the CHILDREN and these children have the right to defend it! Don’t think Ben, his friend Jill (and the tag-along Robert) can ruin a multimillion dollar real estate deal? Then you don’t know the history and the power of the Keepers of the School. A suspenseful six book series, book one, We the Children, starts the battle on land and on sea. It’s a race to keep the school from turning into a ticket booth and these kids are about to discover just how threatening a little knowledge can be.


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Benjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It sounds like a dream come true! But lately, Ben has been wonder if he’s going to like an amusement park in the middle of his town—with all the buses and traffic and eight dollar slices of pizza. It’s going to change everything. And, Ben is not so big on all the new changes in his life, like how Benjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It sounds like a dream come true! But lately, Ben has been wonder if he’s going to like an amusement park in the middle of his town—with all the buses and traffic and eight dollar slices of pizza. It’s going to change everything. And, Ben is not so big on all the new changes in his life, like how his dad has moved out and started living in the marina on what used to be the "family” sailboat. Maybe it would be nice if the school just stayed as it is. He likes the school. Loves it, actually. It’s over 200 years old and sits right on the harbor. The playground has ocean breezes and the classrooms have million dollar views…MILLION DOLLAR views. And after a chance—and final—run-in with the school janitor, Ben starts to discover that these MILLION DOLLAR views have a lot to do with the deal to sell the school property. But, as much as the town wants to believe it, the school does not belong to the local government. It belongs to the CHILDREN and these children have the right to defend it! Don’t think Ben, his friend Jill (and the tag-along Robert) can ruin a multimillion dollar real estate deal? Then you don’t know the history and the power of the Keepers of the School. A suspenseful six book series, book one, We the Children, starts the battle on land and on sea. It’s a race to keep the school from turning into a ticket booth and these kids are about to discover just how threatening a little knowledge can be.

30 review for We the Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    As I requested this advanced reading copy for my son, who at age nine fits the key age group for the book, I thought it would be fun to review the book together. He is as voracious a reader as I am and just loves the fact that I blog, and he has been eyeballing the book from the moment it entered my library. He jumped at the chance to read it and review it for me. Having read it first, I know I had my own opinions of the book, so I was curious to see what he had to say. His thoughts: M: What did As I requested this advanced reading copy for my son, who at age nine fits the key age group for the book, I thought it would be fun to review the book together. He is as voracious a reader as I am and just loves the fact that I blog, and he has been eyeballing the book from the moment it entered my library. He jumped at the chance to read it and review it for me. Having read it first, I know I had my own opinions of the book, so I was curious to see what he had to say. His thoughts: M: What did you think? C: Do I have to finish it? It's boring. M: What do you mean boring? Just finish it for me, okay? C: I'm finished. It was still boring. M: What do you mean? Are you going to recommend it to your friends? C: At this point, I am not going to recommend it because there is not much conflict going on in the story. M: Not much conflict? You do realize that this is going to be a series of six books. C: Yes, and I want to continue with the rest of the series. M: Wait. You are not going to recommend it to your friends, but you want to finish the series? Isn't that a bit contradictory? C: Yes, but I want to see what happens. Will Benjamin fail or succeed? Will Robert befriend Ben? What will they learn about the school's past? M: So, it couldn't have been THAT bad if you want to continue reading. C: I guess so. M: So, what else did you like or dislike? What about the boat race? C: Aren't we done yet? This review thing is hard! M: Honey, you promised. Just humor me with this one. C: Okay. I thought the race part went off-topic but it is still a good part of the story. M: Well, you were complaining about the lack of action. That scene should have satisfied you. C: It did, but it still had nothing to do with the mystery. M: I thought the same thing. Anything else? C: Yes. I think there should be some close calls, so to speak. M: What do you mean? C: Ben could almost get caught in the girls' bathroom. M: Like Harry Potter? C: Sure. M: So you are saying it needs some sort of suspense. C: Yes. Also, I saw a lot of the term, "by a long shot". Personally, I think the author should use something else. M: You are criticizing the author's repetitive phrasing? C: I said it was boring! M: But you still want to read the rest of the series. C: Mo-om! In the end, without any prompting by me, my son came to the same conclusions I did. We the Children is a cute story, and I am slightly curious to see how the series continues, but I thought this would have been better served as a prologue (with some major editing) to the rest of the series than as a stand-alone book. There was little in the way of suspense and action, as my son kept reminding me while I was helping entice him to finish the book. I kept thinking of Harry Potter - the smart female friend/helper, the kid who doesn't ask to be part of the action but finds himself involved. Unfortunately, it pales in comparison to that series, but I do think it has potential. Apparently, even with all of its faults, my son is still interested, which is always a good sign.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lars Guthrie

    Many of us come equipped with a purist strain, a don't-change gene. I certainly do. So my first reaction upon seeing that Andrew Clements was writing a series? Without support from Brian Selznick? You can guess. I like to think I can get past the rigid-thinking part of me, and in this case I did. The first in the 'Keepers of the School' series is great. Clements has aimed for an audience somewhere in between 'Jake Drake' and 'Frindle' and scored a bull's-eye. Coming in at under 150 rapidly-paced p Many of us come equipped with a purist strain, a don't-change gene. I certainly do. So my first reaction upon seeing that Andrew Clements was writing a series? Without support from Brian Selznick? You can guess. I like to think I can get past the rigid-thinking part of me, and in this case I did. The first in the 'Keepers of the School' series is great. Clements has aimed for an audience somewhere in between 'Jake Drake' and 'Frindle' and scored a bull's-eye. Coming in at under 150 rapidly-paced pages, 'We the Children' will grab hold of hesitant literary types and leave them anxious for more. The fourth-grader with whom I read this has ordered an advance copy of the next book in the series (due in January). The illustrations that break up those pages truly complement the novel. Adam Stower's three-toned drawings are reminiscent of Selznick with a retro feel not unlike the work of Marla Frazee in the 'Clementine' books. A Brit, he is quite accomplished both across the Atlantic and here. I'll have to investigate further. Just because 'We the Children's' volume is slight and relatively easy to read does not mean it is superficial. Its hero Ben Pratt--and he is a hero--is a complex sixth-grader, savvy but not always sure, measured but sometimes mercurial. His friend Jill Acton is the perfect foil, down-to-earth, practical, and a serious scholar, yet ready for adventure. Even minor characters are three-dimensional and include an especially menacing villain, the counterfeit custodian Lyman (how's that for a name?). The book kicks off with a bang--a mysterious death--and doesn't stop moving until it ends with a life saved. It also manages to confront such weighty issues as the separation of Ben's parents, as well as invasive corporate cultural appropriation (!). Weaving through it all is a theme of appreciation for old things--balustrades and newels, brass hinges, and, critically, a beautiful compass rose inlaid into the hardwood floors of Oakes School. On the flyleaf, Clements comments on the 'satisfying and sort of comforting' connection he has to these 'little chunks of history.' It's a marvelous way to unobtrusively ground a story that fairly rushes along. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    The story begins with Ben rushing to get to class so he wont receive detention. Along the way, he finds the school janitor has injured his leg. As Ben is helping him, the janitor explains that the school is in danger and has Ben promise to help protect it. The janitor gives a mysterious coin to him which marks Ben as the “keeper of the school.” Ben enlists the help of the school's smartest girl and together they hope to unravel the clues that will keep their school from becoming an amusement par The story begins with Ben rushing to get to class so he wont receive detention. Along the way, he finds the school janitor has injured his leg. As Ben is helping him, the janitor explains that the school is in danger and has Ben promise to help protect it. The janitor gives a mysterious coin to him which marks Ben as the “keeper of the school.” Ben enlists the help of the school's smartest girl and together they hope to unravel the clues that will keep their school from becoming an amusement park. The plot is a little reminiscent of The Hardy Boys with the duo replaced here by Ben and Jill. The story has a very classic good versus evil feel to it. There are also some nice touches of history thrown in about compasses and even some talk about sailing and architecture. Overall, I would say that is why I enjoyed the story. Guess my downfall to it was that it felt incomplete. Where in some series you build and build to a climax that is to be continued with the next book this one just ended on a totally unrelated climax from the plot. However, I will point out that I still want to see what will happen in the second book of the series. So I guess the ending worked for the author after all. A very easy read that children who like mysteries would most likely enjoy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Johnston

    I read this with my 4th graders at school. Although, it is a mystery, it can get dry and confusing in parts. I'm not super familiar with sailing lingo so that may have been where some of the confusion came from since there was a lot of sailing terminology used throughout the book. No spoilers, but the book ends very abruptly. At that point you just have to read the 2nd one to find out what happens. I read this with my 4th graders at school. Although, it is a mystery, it can get dry and confusing in parts. I'm not super familiar with sailing lingo so that may have been where some of the confusion came from since there was a lot of sailing terminology used throughout the book. No spoilers, but the book ends very abruptly. At that point you just have to read the 2nd one to find out what happens.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Meg Coulson

    I read this because Frindle was one of my absolute favorite books growing up. Wasn’t disappointed, even though I was an adult reading a book meant for 10 year olds 🤷🏻‍♀️

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dolly

    This is the first book in the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series by Andrew Clements. Filled with mystery and intrigue, I was hooked from the very beginning. We've read several books by Mr. Clements and I was excited to discover a mystery series written by him for children. I really enjoyed listening to Keith Nobbs narrate the audiobook and I found the story to be very engaging. I am really looking forward to reading the rest of this series and I think I will try to add this one as This is the first book in the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series by Andrew Clements. Filled with mystery and intrigue, I was hooked from the very beginning. We've read several books by Mr. Clements and I was excited to discover a mystery series written by him for children. I really enjoyed listening to Keith Nobbs narrate the audiobook and I found the story to be very engaging. I am really looking forward to reading the rest of this series and I think I will try to add this one as one of the reading selections for our local library's children's book club.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Josiah

    Here's a multi-part story that shows some definite promise. Planned as the first installment of a six-book cycle called Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School, We the Children hits the ground running hard and only gets better from there, with some early glimpses of an adventure that could prove to be quite intriguing. It all begins one day as Ben Pratt, an above-average student of "today" (2010) at a school built in the 1700s by a Revolutionary War notable named Captain Oakes, is unknowingl Here's a multi-part story that shows some definite promise. Planned as the first installment of a six-book cycle called Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School, We the Children hits the ground running hard and only gets better from there, with some early glimpses of an adventure that could prove to be quite intriguing. It all begins one day as Ben Pratt, an above-average student of "today" (2010) at a school built in the 1700s by a Revolutionary War notable named Captain Oakes, is unknowingly grafted into a counterintelligence movement to take action against a wealthy amusement park company that has finagled to obtain the legal rights to demolish Oakes School and build one of their giant amusement parks in its place. The ultimate responsibility of guarding the school from such affronts has been secretly passed down and entrusted through the years not to the hierarchy of chairmen and principals, but to the successive line of janitors stretching perhaps as far back as the captain himself, and it is old Mr. Keane, the current janitor at Oakes School, who draws Ben into the situation by handing him an engraved gold token that is of extreme importance, entrusting it to him for safe keeping. As soon as Ben accepts the token, he has become a part of the battle to preserve his school. A struggle like this can't be taken on without a trustworthy and able partner though, right? So Ben, an intelligent student in his own right, takes a smart girl named Jill into his confidences and explains to her all of the strange events that have happened to him so far that day. But when the janitor's situation takes a sinister turn and Ben and Jill find themselves on their own in going head-to-head with the merciless forces of big business, they wil have to decide whether or not it's really worth it to try to preserve their school. No one but Mr. Keane knows about the token they possess; couldn't they toss it away and pretend they were never involved, and not take the risk that corporate marauders without consciences could be on their tails at any moment? Wouldn't it be safer just to bow to the bigger power and back away from obvious danger before the stove gets too hot? Yet Ben, and Jill, too, aren't wired to give up on something they know to be right, and Ben has a deeper need to be part of something significant. He desires to leave his mark on the world around him in a positive and permanent way that will be his legacy long after he's gone, which was probably the way Captain Oakes felt when he made the decision centuries earlier to convert his military warehouse into a place that would help build people up instead of destroying them, a school that would aid in the development of the minds of children far into the future. I think it's really that search for personal significance that keeps Ben determined to fight for his school in spite of the overwhelming odds against him. After only some cursory digging around, it becomes crystal clear to Ben and Jill that the amusement park company obtained the rights to the captain's school in an underhanded, if technically legal, way. It's also clear that Captain Oakes went to a lot of trouble back in his day to make sure that his school wouldn't eventually fall into the wrong hands, but now it looks as if Ben and Jill are the only two left who might have the power to turn this all around and score one for the dead captain and the preservation of his legacy. Even if the road ahead is going to be a difficult or dangerous one, Ben and Jill just can't turn their backs on the captain's last wishes, nor on those of the janitor Mr. Keane. Once they have that decision more or less settled, the rest of the book has Ben and Jill finding a few early clues that should put them on the path to a fail-safe that was set aside by the original Keepers of the School long ago to help preserve the place in anticipation of a situation like the one being faced now; and while they investigate, Ben and Jill have to constantly evade the observation of the undercover spy that they suspect was sent by the amusement park corporation to find out if Ben and Jill know anything that could potentially jeopardize their major land grab. The action in this first Keepers of the School book is nicely paced and held my attention completely, and the writing of Andrew Clements takes every plot turn with great skill and sure knowledge of what keeps a story from going stale. As a main character, Ben Pratt has an interesting, realistic life, and I enjoyed reading about him; Jill is a good counter to his personality, and the two play off of each other with entertaining and frequently witty candor. I believe that I'm going to like going along on this adventure with these two. To quote Ben himself in the final pages of the book, "I think it's going to be pretty interesting." I would definitely give this book two and a half stars, and I gave a lot of thought to rounding that mark up instead of down. As we get into the middle books in the series and gain more of a perspective on what's really happening, I wouldn't be surprised to see my ratings of the books climb higher. All told, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this first book, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    It was quite slow going, the last few chapters is where it felt like the story really picked up.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gabie (OwlEyesReviews)

    Reading Rush Book #4 Im just straying completely from my TBR at this point.

  10. 5 out of 5

    LadyMcClousen

    I’m a 9 year old on my Moms name. I thought this book wasn’t the best in the series but it was necessary to set the foundation for the other books. It was slow to reveal the story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robin Nell

    A fun mystery that I think my students would really enjoy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    I think I'd give this one 3.5 stars if I could. It was an entertaining read for the upper elementary set who love a solid mystery/adventure book. For me, though I was never fully engaged by the characters or story, We the Children is still a good start to what promises to be a popular and fun series. Benjamin Pratt, an 11-year-old at Captain Oakes School, is just an average kid; that is, until the school's elderly janitor shares a secret with him by giving Ben a gold coin with a message from Cap I think I'd give this one 3.5 stars if I could. It was an entertaining read for the upper elementary set who love a solid mystery/adventure book. For me, though I was never fully engaged by the characters or story, We the Children is still a good start to what promises to be a popular and fun series. Benjamin Pratt, an 11-year-old at Captain Oakes School, is just an average kid; that is, until the school's elderly janitor shares a secret with him by giving Ben a gold coin with a message from Capt. Oakes himself: "My school belongs to the children. DEFEND IT." Ben, along with his classmate Jill, become students on a mission: they must save their school from being torn down and find out what Captain Oakes meant by this cryptic coin. This was a fast-paced story, with enough elements of realistic fiction, mystery, and adventure to satisfy most young readers. Ben is not quite believable as an 11-year-old protagonist, as he seems a little too introspective for such a young man! Also, I don't think the storyline lends itself to the proposed 6 book series; the plot seems to lend itself more to a trilogy. I think We the Children is an exciting start to the series, but it just didn't have enough 'meat' in it for me...the story barely got started before the book ended!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Au

    Ben is rushing to class one day at school, when he stops to help the janitor, Mr Keane, who hurt his ankle. The janitor suddenly gives him a mysterious coin and tells him he must fight to protect the school, which is going to be knocked down and replaced by a theme park. Ben becomes even more confused and anxious when Mr. Keanne dies in the hospital. What do the words on the coin mean? Why does the new janitor seem so suspicious of Ben? How can one boy stop a multimiillion dollar real-estate pro Ben is rushing to class one day at school, when he stops to help the janitor, Mr Keane, who hurt his ankle. The janitor suddenly gives him a mysterious coin and tells him he must fight to protect the school, which is going to be knocked down and replaced by a theme park. Ben becomes even more confused and anxious when Mr. Keanne dies in the hospital. What do the words on the coin mean? Why does the new janitor seem so suspicious of Ben? How can one boy stop a multimiillion dollar real-estate project? A straight forward mystery with the usual elements: children trying to outwit adults, mysterious mesages, hidden objects and an enemy who is constantly keeping an eye on the main character's sleuthing attempts. I think I was a little disappointed that nothing truly exciting happened... and some parts of the story don't seem relevant to the plot. Illustrations in the book are done in an older style (reminds me of hardy boys and Nancy Drew), which appeal to me personally, but may not be as eye-catching to young readers... This is the first book in the series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    William Bentrim

    Keepers of the School-We the Children by Andrew Clements This is a middle school focused book. It sets the stage at a converted factory that serves as a school. Left to the community, the eccentric ship captain that founded the school leaves an interesting legacy. Ben and Jill delve into the mystery of how to save the school from developers. The character Ben is dealing with personal issues that are going to be quite common to the current generation of kids. His feelings and frustrations are clea Keepers of the School-We the Children by Andrew Clements This is a middle school focused book. It sets the stage at a converted factory that serves as a school. Left to the community, the eccentric ship captain that founded the school leaves an interesting legacy. Ben and Jill delve into the mystery of how to save the school from developers. The character Ben is dealing with personal issues that are going to be quite common to the current generation of kids. His feelings and frustrations are clearly expressed and should make it easy for kids in similar situations to find common ground. The tentative relationship between he and Jill also seem quite realistic. This is an age where dawning awareness begins to show itself. I recommend the book. I think it will be a good series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maggie D.

    I thought this book was a very interesting book. This book is not for you if you like lots of action. Although it's a great book for someone who loves mystery. I would recommend this book for anyone who doesn't love a ton of action or adventure but more mystery and likes to take the information about the mystery and plot of the story to try and put it together in different ways to solve it. This book has two main characters so if you are a person who likes different kinds of jobs and characters I thought this book was a very interesting book. This book is not for you if you like lots of action. Although it's a great book for someone who loves mystery. I would recommend this book for anyone who doesn't love a ton of action or adventure but more mystery and likes to take the information about the mystery and plot of the story to try and put it together in different ways to solve it. This book has two main characters so if you are a person who likes different kinds of jobs and characters in the book who play different rolls in the story than this book isn't exactly like that. Now the way I am explaining this might sound boring, but this book is filled with juicy thoughts and hopes for the characters that keep you interested!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

    This is not the usual type of Clements novel. It started out less flashy, and slower, dialogue-wise, than most of his books. The drama he builds over the hidden secrets in the school grabs you by the end, and in the last half of the book he begins to build convincing friendships and rivalries which should prove to be the gel that makes this series even more compelling. When I came to the last page, I WAS disappointed that this was a series, and I had to wait for the next installment. Great editi This is not the usual type of Clements novel. It started out less flashy, and slower, dialogue-wise, than most of his books. The drama he builds over the hidden secrets in the school grabs you by the end, and in the last half of the book he begins to build convincing friendships and rivalries which should prove to be the gel that makes this series even more compelling. When I came to the last page, I WAS disappointed that this was a series, and I had to wait for the next installment. Great editing...leave'em wanting more. Recommended for readers aged 8-12. Benjamin Pratt and Jill Acton are 6th graders.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dakota

    I wasn't sure what to think of this book it was surprisingly decent it had some mystery some action and a few other things that made it somewhat enjoyable. I would have liked it if there was more character development or more about the mystery that they are trying to solve ect a few things here and there. I guess that's why there is a sequel.I would say overall a pretty good book for young readers a nice pace personally I wish it could have been longer because 160 pages isn't quite cutting it fo I wasn't sure what to think of this book it was surprisingly decent it had some mystery some action and a few other things that made it somewhat enjoyable. I would have liked it if there was more character development or more about the mystery that they are trying to solve ect a few things here and there. I guess that's why there is a sequel.I would say overall a pretty good book for young readers a nice pace personally I wish it could have been longer because 160 pages isn't quite cutting it for me but that's just me. I am interested in what you think about this book or this series if you have read it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andee

    Ah, man. I was SO disappointed. To be fair, I'm not a fan of "series" books. If you want to tell a bunch of different stories with the same characters that can stand on their own - fine. But to cut one story into many different books? No. Don't make me pay for a few chapters at a time. I'm sure the story in its entirety would be entertaining for mid-elementary grades. Andrew Clements tells a good tale and I do like the characters so far. I read this because it's an Oregon Battle of the Books tit Ah, man. I was SO disappointed. To be fair, I'm not a fan of "series" books. If you want to tell a bunch of different stories with the same characters that can stand on their own - fine. But to cut one story into many different books? No. Don't make me pay for a few chapters at a time. I'm sure the story in its entirety would be entertaining for mid-elementary grades. Andrew Clements tells a good tale and I do like the characters so far. I read this because it's an Oregon Battle of the Books title and I'll need to give a book talk to my students. Now I need to tell them that the end of the book is NOT the end of the story. Sigh.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ava Hanadel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Benjamin's school is going to be knocked down at the end of the school year to build a amusement park. Normally this would be great news to a kid, but not him. You see, his school is not quite normal. It was built in the 17th century by Captain Oakes, a sea captain. Afraid of an attack, he installed safeguards inside the school. Will Ben and Jill be able to find all the safeguards and save their school? Benjamin's school is going to be knocked down at the end of the school year to build a amusement park. Normally this would be great news to a kid, but not him. You see, his school is not quite normal. It was built in the 17th century by Captain Oakes, a sea captain. Afraid of an attack, he installed safeguards inside the school. Will Ben and Jill be able to find all the safeguards and save their school?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cara

    Cute and very short start to an exciting series. Benjamin Pratt gets sucked into helping save his school all because he was in the right place at the wrong time. Or was he? He is perfect for this mission, and he has recruited his friend Jill to help. Book one is left on a bit of a cliffhanger so have the second book handy!

  21. 4 out of 5

    ✦BookishlyRichie✦

    Awesome! I love being reminded how much I love middle grade reads! fast paced, a lot of adventure and fun! -R.D.

  22. 4 out of 5

    A

    Great story of mystery & adventure! Looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Lexile 860 - Reading Counts 7 points

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gavin D.

    Plot- this book follows a young kid named ben and his school the school he’s going to is really really old made after the revolution.by an old ship designer. It starts as he’s late for class and he runs into the old janitor who is sick the janitor gives him a coin and tells him to protect the school. The janitor dies and ben’s left with a big mystery on his hand the new janitor is acting suspicious and ben suspects him to be working against the school and against him. He and his friend follow cl Plot- this book follows a young kid named ben and his school the school he’s going to is really really old made after the revolution.by an old ship designer. It starts as he’s late for class and he runs into the old janitor who is sick the janitor gives him a coin and tells him to protect the school. The janitor dies and ben’s left with a big mystery on his hand the new janitor is acting suspicious and ben suspects him to be working against the school and against him. He and his friend follow clues through the book and begin to uncover the mystery of the gold coin. The climax is when ben is in a boat race and a character named robert who bullies ben almost drowns. Text Structure- in horror/mystery novels the authors use certain text structures to create suspense the text structure they use in this book to create suspense is flashbacks. The main character has tons of flashbacks. The flashbacks also give knowledge into the world of this character and some of the things going on in his life. The book also uses tension using the threat of lyman's approach or involvement to increase speed and tension of the book. These are the text structures the author uses to induce suspense and make the book more mysterious. Opinion- I don’t especially like this book and find it quite boring. It has too much unnecessary exposition and background knowledge. The boat race is not needed and all the detail makes the book to wordy and boring. It gets really dramatic over nothing and doesn’t really make the drama necessary. I feel it has good potential as a book and maybe even a series but sadly it doesn’t work. Go ahead and read the book yourself but my opinion stands there is a lot of unnecessary facts and background info and this is what is a turn of for me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abbey Jenkins

    We the Children is a book about Benjamin Pratt and his school near the coast of the Atlantic in a town called Edgeport. Benjamin Pratt is a sixth grader in a school that is on the brink of change. There is a company in town that wants the school to convert it into a theme park. Near the beginning of the book, there was a man who was a janitor that gave very important and secret information to Benjamin and since then, Benjamin has become a keeper of the school. He and a friend, Jill, are working We the Children is a book about Benjamin Pratt and his school near the coast of the Atlantic in a town called Edgeport. Benjamin Pratt is a sixth grader in a school that is on the brink of change. There is a company in town that wants the school to convert it into a theme park. Near the beginning of the book, there was a man who was a janitor that gave very important and secret information to Benjamin and since then, Benjamin has become a keeper of the school. He and a friend, Jill, are working to figure out a set of clues to save the school from the changes that a theme park would impart on the town that they have lived in their whole lives. Another part of this book was where Benjamin was participating in his sailing club activities. This part was a little random for me, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed this book because it was a mystery. There were many pictures included that aided the story. There were specific instances where there was a specific listing of different objects, and pictures were included of those objects. I have always really enjoyed the writing style of Andrew Clements. My third grade teacher read me my first book of his. This book would make a great read-aloud for a mid-level elementary classroom. The chapters are short, but keeps the interest of students.

  25. 5 out of 5

    C.J. Milbrandt

    Benjamin Pratt finds a struggling Mr. Keane, the school janitor, injured. The old man hastily entrusts Ben with a gold coin and makes him promise to defend the school. Because it's been sold out from under the children who attend it (against the express wishes of its founder) and will shortly be turned into a historical theme park. Town councils and assistant janitors. Separated parents and staying on a sailboat. Local history and architectural clues. A man of the sea and a school for the ages. Benjamin Pratt finds a struggling Mr. Keane, the school janitor, injured. The old man hastily entrusts Ben with a gold coin and makes him promise to defend the school. Because it's been sold out from under the children who attend it (against the express wishes of its founder) and will shortly be turned into a historical theme park. Town councils and assistant janitors. Separated parents and staying on a sailboat. Local history and architectural clues. A man of the sea and a school for the ages. Nice, tight storytelling, but unhurried. We're given time to get to know Ben, who's struggling more than he lets on with his parents' separation. And lots of fascinating details about sailing. In many ways (format, length, illustrations), this series reminds me of The Spiderwick Chronicles, because the first book is simply the first part of the story. We the Children is an introduction to the cast and story, which will be told in installments. As a fan of serial storytelling, I don't mind a bit. And the books are beautiful (that's metallic copper detailing on the cover!) and the two-color illustrations throughout are top-notch. I'll be on the lookout for the rest of the series!

  26. 5 out of 5

    April

    I read this with my fourth grader for OBOB. Usually I enjoy the OBOB books, but felt this book was a complete waste of time. The story builds up to a mystery. Two kids fighting a clock and spies working against them, as they try to save their school from being demolished. Sounds like a promising plot - EXCEPT the mystery is never solved. The last chapter is about a boat race that has nothing to do with the story. No closure, not even a real cliffhanger. We read the first chapter of the second bo I read this with my fourth grader for OBOB. Usually I enjoy the OBOB books, but felt this book was a complete waste of time. The story builds up to a mystery. Two kids fighting a clock and spies working against them, as they try to save their school from being demolished. Sounds like a promising plot - EXCEPT the mystery is never solved. The last chapter is about a boat race that has nothing to do with the story. No closure, not even a real cliffhanger. We read the first chapter of the second book, which is included at the end of this book, thinking it might provide answers. No such luck. The language of the book was difficult for my son to follow. As a result he wasn't very interested in the story from the beginning. Moreover, the story seemed to veer off course often talking about boating terms and seemingly unrelated and boring topics. Overall a very poor choice for OBOB in my opinion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pat Salvatini

    The first book in the new Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School series. Ben didn’t think much about his school, or the eccentric sea captain who founded it back in the late eighteenth century. He had more pressing matters to dwell upon such as his parents separation or his upcoming sailing competition. So when the school’s janitor suffers a heart attack and gives Ben an antique coin and swears him to secrecy, Ben begins to think differently about the school, Captain Duncan Oakes, and the The first book in the new Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School series. Ben didn’t think much about his school, or the eccentric sea captain who founded it back in the late eighteenth century. He had more pressing matters to dwell upon such as his parents separation or his upcoming sailing competition. So when the school’s janitor suffers a heart attack and gives Ben an antique coin and swears him to secrecy, Ben begins to think differently about the school, Captain Duncan Oakes, and the new janitor. Ben recruits his friend Jill to help decode the coin’s message and share in his quest to save the school from a developer’s grasp. Clements is well experienced with creating strong school based settings that appeal to young readers. Although there is much unresolved at the end of the story, the strong characters and enticing secrets will keep reader’s awaiting the release of the next installment. Stower’s pen and ink illustrations add to the action and overall enjoyment.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Campbell

    I didn't really want to read this book because it's part of a series. Not that I don't like series books, but then... I am the kind of reader who pretty much then MUST READ the rest of the series. And ha, he really does make me have to read the next book because of the way it ends...it asks you to read book two! So I will. I have to know what happens next, right? It was a cute story. It was way too much sailing terminology for me, because I don't KNOW my sailboats or any of that sea stuff, but I I didn't really want to read this book because it's part of a series. Not that I don't like series books, but then... I am the kind of reader who pretty much then MUST READ the rest of the series. And ha, he really does make me have to read the next book because of the way it ends...it asks you to read book two! So I will. I have to know what happens next, right? It was a cute story. It was way too much sailing terminology for me, because I don't KNOW my sailboats or any of that sea stuff, but I LOVED reading the sea stuff, because those words just sound cool, and maybe I did learn a little bit more about boats and sailing. I enjoyed the mystery of this, and the great importance and the moral or the purpose, plus, the other side story that's going on at the same time. So... I have book two on hold at the library near me, and I'll read it when I can.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    ...and the OBOB book for 2017 I was so eager to read but then let me down big time. Sigh. I love love Frindle yet Andrew Clements completely lost me in this first of a series about a boy whose parents are splitting up and the school janitor hands over a mysterious coin about saving this historic school right before he dies...pretty awesome set up...but then it just rambled. But, if you are into sailing - as my husband is - then the story has about 50 pages of an incredible race with lots and lot ...and the OBOB book for 2017 I was so eager to read but then let me down big time. Sigh. I love love Frindle yet Andrew Clements completely lost me in this first of a series about a boy whose parents are splitting up and the school janitor hands over a mysterious coin about saving this historic school right before he dies...pretty awesome set up...but then it just rambled. But, if you are into sailing - as my husband is - then the story has about 50 pages of an incredible race with lots and lots of sailing terms...and you would be captured. I was skipping sentences but only enough to get the gist that the bully and Ben are neck and neck (bow to bow?) tension mounts as the bully's boat flips and Benjamin saves the boy and the day...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Boy was I disappointed with this one. It sure wasn't what I've come to expect from the author. It wasn't the characters or the storyline that let me down, it was the chopped up nature of the series. It not just left us hanging with a "read the next book in the series NOW" ending (I refuse to call it a cliffhanger because it was just a stop. Period. That's it.) but it I literally didn't even sense the end coming. I flipped pages, looking for some kind of resolution, only to realize that the probl Boy was I disappointed with this one. It sure wasn't what I've come to expect from the author. It wasn't the characters or the storyline that let me down, it was the chopped up nature of the series. It not just left us hanging with a "read the next book in the series NOW" ending (I refuse to call it a cliffhanger because it was just a stop. Period. That's it.) but it I literally didn't even sense the end coming. I flipped pages, looking for some kind of resolution, only to realize that the problem wasn't my particular book, but the story itself. Am I going to hunt down the rest of a six book series just to get closure on this one? After checking prices online, I think not. If one of my students had handed in this for an assignment, I would have handed it back as unfinished.

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