Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Middle-Grade Review: We the Children

My 12-year old son is a big fan of Andrew Clements, so we were excited to hear he had recently published the first book of a new mystery series, Benjamin Pratt & The Keepers of the School: We the Children.  My sons and I listened to it on audio during a trip last weekend to visit cousins.  We all enjoyed the suspenseful tale.

Benjamin Pratt lives in a seaside town and is trying to adjust to his parents’ recent separation.  He lives half the time with his mom and half the time on his dad’s sailboat, moored in the harbor.  He wasn’t too concerned with the town’s plan to bulldoze his historic old school to make room for an amusement park, until the old janitor at school entrusts him with a secret and tells him he needs to protect the school.

As Ben and his friend Jill investigate the development plans, they discover things that certain people don’t want discovered and find themselves in possible danger.  They work together to come up with a plan to save the school, with the help of some very old clues left by the school’s original builder, Captain Oakes, in 1783.  Meanwhile, Ben gets ready for his first solo sailing race.

We all liked the book very much.  It’s an original story, with plenty of mystery and suspense set in an historical context.  My sons love sailing, so they especially liked those parts.  My one disappointment was that it felt like it ended in the middle of the story.  I prefer series where each book can stand on its own.  I guess we’ll just have to wait for book 2 to come out (September 2010).

Simon & Schuster Audio
Read by Keith Nobbs


1 comment:

Jan von Harz said...

I have been remiss about making my rounds to all my blogs I follow. Better late than never though. I like mysteries and this sounds like it would appeal to the middle school group quite nicely. I would agree with you about series that can stand alone though. Still hopefully the next one will prove its worth.