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We the Children: Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School

We the Children: Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School

Escrito por Andrew Clements

Narrado por Keith Nobbs


We the Children: Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School

Escrito por Andrew Clements

Narrado por Keith Nobbs

avaliações:
3.5/5 (34 avaliações)
Comprimento:
2 horas
Lançado em:
Apr 6, 2010
ISBN:
9780743583855
Formato:
Audiolivro

Descrição

The Boston area has been hit hard by a new wave of commercialization. Historic sites have yielded to the lure of big bucks, and now, C. Robinson Fetchley, a shady developer, is planning to make history by breaking ground for his tenth entertainment mega-park-but he needs to get his hands on the Duncan Oakes School first.

While everyone else in town is in love with this garish future, young Benjamin Pratt is in love with the past, the real past. He is one of those rare middle schoolers who already knows what he wants to do in life: he wants to be an historian. And, right now, the only thing he likes about his educational experience is Oakes School itself. It's so old, it's so interesting. It's so full of stories. But what can he do? He's just a 6th grade kid who likes American history.

Then, one day at school Ben discovers an old leather pouch, really old-just the way he likes it. Inside is a parchment scroll written by three students. The date on the note is 1791. They call themselves The Keepers of the School and it turns out, the 18th century keepers are not the only secret groups that have existed at Oakes School.

This first in a six-book series follows Ben and his sarcastic friend, Jill as they uncover a remarkable history and use it to protect the future of their school.

Lançado em:
Apr 6, 2010
ISBN:
9780743583855
Formato:
Audiolivro


Sobre o autor

Andrew Clements is the author of picture books and novels for young readers, including Because Your Daddy Loves You and the perennial bestseller Frindle. He lives in Baldwin, Maine, and can also be found at www.andrewclements.com.

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3.7
34 avaliações / 25 Análises
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Avaliações de leitores

  • (4/5)
    This is book one in a series about Benjamin and his friend Jill. They attend the seaside Oakes School, which has stood for over two hundred years, but will be torn down within weeks. The town has sold the school land and some of the seaside land to a huge corporation that builds historical theme parks, so they'll be tearing down the actual history in order to build fake history. Ben comes across the school janitor, who has just broken his ankle on the school stairs. The old man presses a gold coin into Ben's hand and demands a promise that Ben will defend the school. From what, or how, becomes a mystery Ben and Jill have to solve on their own, as the janitor dies within hours.If I came across more from this series, I'd follow it. It's pretty smart, with researching clues and a very detailed boat race.
  • (3/5)
    A different kind of Clements book. I would like to read the next one. Did not expect the cliff hanger ending. Lots going on in the story, maybe too much.
  • (5/5)
    This book was so much fun. I was lucky enough to get an ARC from the folks at Simon & Schuster (THANK YOU) so I had the pleasure of reading this prior to its 04/06/10 release. It's the start to a new series that promises more fun to be had. You might even learn a thing or two along the way! Definitely recommended reading!
  • (3/5)
    This was about a 2.5 book for me. A good set-up to a series, but it didn't really answer any questions that were raised! I think it will get better with the next book, but since it was a slow start, I wonder if kids will pick it up.
  • (3/5)
    Keepers of the School is a new series by Andrew Clements, author of many books, inlcuding Frindle, A Week in the Woods, and No Talking. The first book in the series is We the Children. This is a mystery/adventure book about an elementary school that dates back to the 1790's. The school and surrounding property has just been sold to a big company that is planning to tear it down and build an amusement park on the site. Ben is given a gold coin by the school custodian who is dying, along with an ominous message to defend the school at all costs. Ben first has to find out who he is defending the school against, and then figure out how to actually save it. A spellbinding read, with a side story about learning how to sail.
  • (5/5)
    Ben Pratt a six grader at Captain Duncan Oakes School faces alot of changes this year. His parents are on their way to a divorce, the old school is being torn down for a new amusement part and he the one who finds Mr. Keane the old janitor in the hallway the day before he dies. While waiting for the paramedics Keane hands Ben a gold coin that saids " First and always my school belongs to the children Defend It Duncan Oakes 1783. Not sure what to do with the coin he befriends Jill and together they set off on an mission to save the old school.
  • (4/5)
    Ben Pratt is given a mysterious gold coin by a school janitor and also given the task of saving the school from developers who want to build an amusement park on the site. This is the first book of a planned 6 book series and so is primarily concerned with set up and introducing the characters. Ben is a junior high student who is good at social studies. He is also dealing with the separation of his parents. He is also learning to race sailboats. Jill is his good friend. She is also a good student. Ben is tentatively starting to think of her as a girlfriend. Robert is Ben's rival both in school and at the yacht club. Captain Oakes built the school after the Revolutionary war and made the children who attended the Keepers of the School. This task has now been passed down to Ben and friends. It was a quiet story but well-written.
  • (3/5)
    Sixth-grader Ben Pratt's life is full of changes that he does not like--his parents' separation and the plan to demolish his seaside school to build an amusement park--but when the school janitor gives him a tarnished coin with some old engravings and then dies, Ben is drawn into an effort to keep the school from being destroyed.
  • (3/5)
    It isn't Clements fault, but I am SO sick of series! I didn't see the tiny little one at the top of the spine, and had I seen it, I probably would NOT have purchased the book. Doesn't anyone write a great stand alone novel any more? Having said that, I did enjoy Benjamin Pratt & The Keeper's of the School:We the Children. I liked the mysterious way Ben is thrust into a position of responsibility by the janitor, and I have just the right amount of questions (does the coin have any magic powers, what does the key open, will Ben be able to save the school, and what will happen between his mom and dad) to keep me interested in reading book two. But seriously, I wish it had been one book!
  • (2/5)
    This is the first book in a series written for children aged 9-12. In it, Benjamin Pratt and his friends learn that they must save their historic school from being bulldozed by developers. The story is an old-fashioned mystery in the spirit of Encyclopedia Brown. It's well-written with believable middle school-aged characters and really wonderful pencil drawings illustrating it throughout.I enjoyed the book, but I wish that it had been more able to stand on its own. I think that books written in series should work together, but should also finish a complete story on their own and this one just doesn't manage that and that was disappointing.
  • (3/5)
    This is a very interesting book about 2 friends and a school mystery. There names are Ben and Jill. One day Ben is given a piece of circular stone with writing on it. Jill and Ben have a adventure finding how to stop the school from being torn down. Or can they? I would say that this book is for kids ages 8-12.
  • (4/5)
    Obviously the first book in a series. The book ends with a cliff-hanger. Three friends work together to save their school from developers after receiving a mysterious message from the dying school janitor.
  • (4/5)
    The first in a six part series. Not quite as compelling as Clements' other books, but perhaps because it is written for a younger audience. Benjamin and his friend Jill attend a school right on the Massachusetts coast in a school built in the 1700s. This book introduces their dilemma: a big Disney-like organization has bought the school property and plans to tear it down and put up an amusement park. However, the former janitor gives Ben a mysterious coin dating back to the opening of the school that charges the holder of the coin with preserving the school. The janitor died shortly after. Subsequent books will follow the pair as they dicipher long lost clues.
  • (4/5)
    There's been a lot going on in Benjamin Pratt's life lately. He's nervous about his upcoming sailing race and distracted by his parent's separation and dividing his weeks between them. He certainly hasn't really thought, or cared, about the fact that his seas side school is going to be torn down and replaced with an amusement park. Actually, it sounds pretty cool: modern building, an amusement park, and the adults are happy about the money it will bring the town.Things change when Benjamin helps an injured janitor, Mr. Keane, and is then entrusted with a gold coin that states:First and foremost my school belongs to the childrenDEFEND ITDuncan Oakes1783The janitor tells Benjamin that the coin, and the defense of the school, has been past from janitor to janitor. But now the school is under attack (from the developers) and the new janitor Lyman isn't to be trusted. Mr. Keane is rushed to the hospital and later Benjamin learns he has died. What went from a bizarre encounter galvanizes Benjamin into trying to protect his school and gain some control over his life. He tells his friend Jill about the coin and together they uncover a series of clues that lead them to hidden compartments, riddles, and a history of school children protecting the school. Benjamin and Jill just have to figure out the clues and how this can all come together to thwart a million-dollar development company. Oh, and they also have to avoid an industrial spy, shifty assistant janitor Lyman, whose going to do whatever it takes to protect the project.This book is geared toward 7-10 year-olds and would be a good book for boys, reluctant readers, or high interest low-level readers. It's fairly short, the story moves quickly, and is reminiscent of the old Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden mysteries. The riddles, while not all solved in this book, are not nearly as complicated as those in the Blue Balliett books (The Wright Three, etc.). The illustrations are also a bit old-fashioned, but I don't think it will turn kids away.This was the first book in a series, but I like Andrew Clements' work, so I believe this is the start of fun mystery series. I think it has the appropriate amount of character development, action, mystery, and dastardly enemies. I'm definitely ordering this book for my elementary library and I'm sure my kids will enjoy it.
  • (3/5)
    Grades 4 and upBenjamin Pratt, a sixth grader, suddenly is seeing a lot of change in his life. His parents are splitting up, and his school is in danger of being torn down. But when the school janitor gives Benjamin a prophetic coin just seconds before he dies, Benjamin’s life starts to change in a way he never could have predicted.
  • (5/5)
    "Stick out your hand!" Mr. Keane, the school's head custodian, shoves a coin into Benjamin Pratt's hand and then whispers to Benjamin with his last breath, "the fight is yours too!" Why did the old man do this? What did he mean? Benjamin Pratt's harbor side school is about to be torn down and replaced with an amusement park. Fantastic! Or is it? Why is the new janitor lurking in the shadows? Too many questions to figure out by himself so Benjamin recruits the "brains" of the school - a girl - Jill Acton, and together they try to get to the bottom of this mystery about the coin, the school, and the strange new janitor.Andrew Clements has done it again! This new series is exciting, intense and fun all rolled into one! The action is fast paced! He keeps the reader involved in the story by sharing contagious clues (just as you figure one out you are anxiously looking for the next), and the characters could be your best friends. Mr. Clements leaves the reader perched for the next book in the series. I'll be at the front of the line waiting for my copy!
  • (3/5)
    I don't have much to add to what other reviewers have already said. I agree that I'm curious enough about the mystery to want to continue reading. Plus, I have my own theory as to what will happen when the kids follow through with the clues and I want to see if I'm right. But, if I am right, that doesn't say much for making it a 6-book series if I could figure it out in the first book.Anyway, the sailing thing does seem to be a sidebar of little importance, but perhaps what happens there will have serious impact on what is to come and we just don't know that yet. I'm not a big fan of arcing an entire story through a number of books. Sure, series are very popular, but usually a main story arc is completed in each book - that doesn't happen here...and it's not even a very exciting cliffhanger or anything. It was a quick read, but I'm not sure whether kids will love it. It may need to build through the next few books to the point where it gets into the story more and then you can bring people into the series by having them read 3-4 books right in a row. For now, this first book isn't all that exciting in and of itself, but the series still has potential.
  • (2/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    First Line: As the ship's bell clanged through the school's hallway for the third time, Ben ran his tongue back and forth across the porcelain caps that covered his front teeth, a nervous habit.Ben Pratt's parents are going through a divorce, so the last thing he needs is the school janitor acting weird and insisting that, not only is Ben the only one who can save the school, but he needs to keep a strange gold coin and trust no one. Ben would just chalk Mr. Keane's behavior up to being old, but the next thing Ben knows Mr. Keane is dead and there's a very strange replacement janitor hanging around. The school, founded by a sea captain in the eighteenth century, is slated for the wrecking ball; the land to be used for a new amusement park. Mr. Keane's death makes Ben wonder if there really is something going on, and he soon enlists the help of his friend, Jill Acton.This skinny little volume moves very quickly. I love piecing together clues on coins and maps and blueprints, and the book truly comes to life when Ben goes sailing. Perhaps I'm used to the meaty satisfaction of a volume about Harry Potter, but We the Children was just too short. Ben and Jill are interesting characters, and the storyline is engaging. Unless each volume is published one right after the other-- quickly-- I can see both young and old readers losing interest in what is a very intriguing story. I hope that doesn't happen.
  • (3/5)
    Although the seaside Oakes School was dedicated to the children of Edgeport, Massachusetts in 1783 by Captain Duncan Oakes, the town council now plans to demolish it and develop the land into a nautical theme park. When 6th-grader Ben Pratt happens to help the school's old janitor who's experiencing a medical emergency, the janitor presses a gold coin into Ben's hand and recruits him into a mysterious, centuries-long quest, begun by the Captain himself, to forever keep the school for the children. The janitor gives Ben some warnings but then dies, leaving Ben to pair his curiosity and citizenship with his friend Jill's smarts -- and to hope that, together, they can save the school. It's a quick, exciting read, clue-driven and with the promise of danger. Texture comes from subplots involving friendships, school rivalries, separated parents, and life in a seaside community (including sailing and living on a boat). Illustrations accent the text every five (or so) pages. But to be clear -- this book is the first installment of a new six-book series, and it seems like little more than some opening material (mostly introducing the characters, setting, plot/subplots) and without the story arc or resolution that defines a stand-alone volume. If the entire series were published as a single book, I'd likely rate it 5 stars (this first installment is that promising); if all of the installments in the series were to be released in quick succession, maybe 4 stars. But with Book 2 not due out until Fall 2010 (and the rest unannounced), it's a very long wait -- and a very long time to read -- what appeals most as a very fast story. (Review based on an advance reading copy provided by the publisher.)
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this introduction to Clements' new series that focuses on two kids' efforts to save their elementary school from an evil corporate takeover. Ben is a delightful character struggling to accept his parents' recent separation; his dislike of change finds a focus in the plans to tear down his school. His partner in crime is the brains of the operation, and her inclusion in the story helps make the book attractive to both boys and girls. This first installment is a slim volume that serves to introduce the theme and main characters, and sets up the mystery by solving one set of clues and introducing the next. Clements writes with an authentic voice that will appeal to young readers but introduces mature themes that should spark discussions around the dinner table. All in all an excellent read.
  • (3/5)
    Aimed at the age group from 7-10 years old, this book is a quick read. The plot is sort of ridiculous, but fun, and character development is started, but doesn't feel fully fleshed out. Yet. It is clear that the series will need to be read as a whole for completion of the story. This book begins the tale, but feels mostly like exposition. It's setting the scene, giving the necessary background information for the story arc to follow.To be fair, I don't tend to read books intended for this age group, anymore. At the same time, I wouldn't recommend reading this book yet, because I feel that a book should be more well-rounded on its' own. I might be willing to recommend the book series as a whole, but it's not finished, so I can't really say yet.
  • (2/5)
    The first thing I should say is that I am obviously not the intended audience for this book. It's for kids and I haven't been one for a long time. Even so, I think I can confidently say that this book kind of sucks.First off the dialogue is terrible. It sounds like it was written by someone who was trying to be clever, but just ended up sounding stupid.Then there's the fact that this is the type of series that I really hate. It's one of those series where each book just end in the middle of the action. There's no resolution at all. I suspect that if all the books in the series were put together, you'd end up with a complete novel. I hate it when a book reads more like a fragment of a book.
  • (3/5)
    Benjamin Pratt is a boy with a problem.Well actually, with a couple of problems. His parents are recently separated and he lives with either parent on alternate weeks. Also, the janitor at his school has recently turned up dead after giving Ben an ancient gold coin with an inscription and having extracted a promise from Ben that he would fight to save the school from being torn down by rich developers. This is a great beginning, but it is only a beginning and we are left wanting a lot more in this first installment of The Keepers of the School. The characters are interesting. Ben is a boy with a good sense of values and discipline, who is set in believable situations. We are left wanting more, which I suppose is the purpose of having a series of books. I can't help but think that we could have been given more in this first installment. It feels a bit thin.
  • (2/5)
    This book is an interesting start, but it's just a start. Nothing is resolved and the plot is only just begun. It's one thing to end the first book of a series on a cliffhanger; it's another thing entirely not to resolve or even completely explain a single plot point. I guess Andrew Clements is hoping to release only short parts of a story at a time and to sell a lot of books that way?