Book blurb from Clement’s website:
We the Children
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.
Prior to reading the new Clements book, when I saw the cover of The Benjamin Pratt & The Keepers of the School: We the Children, it had me thinking ahead of time that it was going to be a historical fiction book set during the American Revolution-hmmm-I guess it was the sepia tones of the book and the “We the Children” similarity to the “We the people…” I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Just about the time you hit that peak, the book ends! I’ll call it the 39 Clues phenomenon. I’m not quite sure what I think about it in the form of a $14.95 book that is only available in hardback. While this book will be a winner for reluctant readers as well as book lovers, I do worry that the reluctant readers will lose interest before the next one in the series comes out-September 7, 2010(title- Fear Itself). At $14.95 for 160 pages, complete with pictures and a middle grade font, the $90 price tag for the series is a little hefty.
I loved this twist on a school story. Benjamin is a great character, as is the janitor who gave him the coin, his friend, Jill, and his “frienemy” Robert. A great combination of suspense and “school story” realistic fiction, you can’t help but want to know how the kids will outwit the bad guys/big corporation.
The black, blue and white illustrations are a great addition to the story and help the plot move right along.