Happy Friday everyone!
Guess what?! I just got back from the gym and look what I accomplished...
Has anyone ever taking a trekking class? Oh my gosh... it's amazing! It's 45 minutes on the treadmill, but you have an instructor guiding you through different intervals. You sprint, you climb hills, you recover... you do it all. We were never on 0 incline, so I worked my tail off. But seeing those numbers at the end...makes it all worth it. Awesome! Now, on to Fiction Friday...
Remember last week when I said I read 2 great books, but only shared one with you. Well, today is your lucky day, because I am going to tell you about my new favorite series! I'm not sure how this one got past me because it is not new new, but it was new to me.
Benjamin Pratt & The Keepers of the School
Book One: We the Children
by Andrew Clements
Summary from AndrewClements.com:
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.
I was hooked from the beginning. The story starts off with a bang and never really slows down! In the very first chapter the janitor injures himself and Ben finds him on his way to class. In the few minutes before the paramedics arrive, the janitor urgently hands Ben a mysterious coin with a message from the founder of the school. The coin has been passed down for 200 years and now it is Ben's responsibility to uncover the secrets of the coin and the school. The janitor warns him that the principal and other janitor can't be trusted. And so, the mystery begins and the pages just keep on begging to be turned. You know those kids that throw away a book because they are bored in the first two pages? This is their book. Action from the beginning!
I started this book in the San Franscico airport during a layover and finished before the plane landed in Seattle. I couldn't put it down. The series is set up much like the Spiderwick Chronicles. Each book is a chunk of the story, resulting in the mystery finally being solved in the last book...or at least that is my assumption after reading book one. I can't wait to read the next five books.
The theme of change is very prominent throughout the story. As someone who doesn't really like change, I could relate to Ben's struggles with the changes in his life. The changes in his parents marriage, the changes in his daily routines and living arrangements, and the threat of a theme park taking over his small east coast town is all hanging over his head. It's a lot for anyone and opens the door for great conversations and connections while reading.
Another fun aspect of the story is living near the water and sailing. In fact, Ben has been taking sailing classes for several years and now participates in races. Cool, huh? The inclusion of this northeast tradition helps set the stage for the story. Andrew Clements does a great job explaining the sailing/waterfront vocabulary through context. Even for readers with limited experience in a small sailing town, the description allows them to visualize the story and follow along.
I just loved this book and can't wait to find out what happens next.
- Series Chapter Book
- Grades 4-6 (RL 5.6)
- Read Aloud 3-6