Monday 8 August 2016

We the Children - Andrew Clements - Benjamin Pratt & Keepers of the School Book 1

We the Children 
Benjamin Pratt & Keepers of the School Book 1
Andrew Clements
Adam Stower (Illustrator)
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
A Division of Simon and Schuster

ISBN 9781416939078
eISBN 9781416999140

This is the 7th book by Andrew Clements I have read this summer and the first that is part of a series. This one was interesting, first as part of the series it has elements of suspense and wonder that are resolved in the stand alone novels. Second as part of a series it took a lot long to get some stuff up and gives a little more back story. As such it is a great start to a series.

This book really gets a reader's attention from the first chapter, even the first few paragraphs. A secret, a group dedicated to protecting the school, a mysterious gold coin and a promise. What a way to begin a book. Most kids would love the idea of a wrecking ball tearing down their school. But when Benjamin Pratt learns that there has always been a protector of the school, and that the school was promised to the children he soon finds out that he cares. Stuff that had been going on for two years now seems important. Finding out what they really want the school, and if there is any way to save it has become very important to Benjamin and his friend Jill are working to see if they can do what seems impossible and with just 28 days left to follow the clues and hope to find a way to save the school. 

This book is well written, as is often the case Clements draws us in with characters dealing with something personal in their life and with life in school. This time Benjamin is dealing with the divorce of his parents and also the god coin he has been given and the promise he gave to protect the school. What is at stake is the future of the school and possibly the town. The current school resides above the harbour with amazing views. But it is slated to soon be an amusement park. 

The illustrations by Adam Stower add to the story, and there are many throughout the book. Mostly they are pen and ink sketches. Most done in black and white and a few in greyscale. 

The characters and the plot are what always get me with Clements books. He does such a good job of capturing people and events. This book could likely be published in a single large omnibus edition, but I fear that the size would be intimidating to many young readers. It will be interesting to see how the series progresses over the 5 books. I know that I am hooked and will finish this series and also likely many many other books by Andrew Clements.

This was another very good read.

Books by Andrew Clements:
Bird Adalbert
Noah and the Ark and the Animals
Santa's Secret Helper
Temple Cat
Mother Earth's Counting Book
Billy and the Bad Teacher
Who Owns the Cow
Bright Christmas: An Angel Remembers
(Adapter)Philipp's Birthday Book
Riff's BeBop Book
Real Monsters Go for the Mold
Things That Go EEK on Halloween
Real Monsters Stage Fright
Music Time, Any Time
Double Trouble in Walla Walla
Gromble's Haunted Halloween
Hey Dad, Could I Borrow Your Hammer
The Landry News
Look Who's in the Thanksgiving Play
The Mouse Family
The Janitor's Boy
Circus Family Dog
The Christmas Kitten
The School Story
Things Not Seen 
The Jacket 
A Week in the Woods
Slippers at Home
Naptime for Slippers
The Report Card
The Last Holiday Concert
Slippers at School
Slippers Loves to Run
A Million Is a Lot of Dots
Lunch Money
Things Hoped For
Room One: A Mystery or Two
No Talking
Things That Are
Lost and Found
Extra Credit
About Average
The Map Trap
The Friendship War
The Losers Club

Pets to the Rescue Series
Ringo Saves the Day!
Brave Norman
Tara and Tiree, Fearless Friends
Delores and the Big Fire

Jake Drake Series
Jake Drake Know-It-All
Jake Drake, Bully Buster
Jake Drake, Teacher's Pet
Jake Drake, Class Clown

Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School Series
We the Children
Fear Itself
The Whites of Their Eyes
In Harm's Way
We Hold These Truths

Reading program Books
Karen's Island
Three Wishes for Buster
Bill Picket: An American Original, Texas Style
Hurricane Andrew
Ham and Eggs for Jack
Life in the Desert
Desert Treasure
Inventors: Making Things Better, Steck-Vaughn
Milo's Great Invention

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