Thursday, April 26, 2012

We the Children

We the Children (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School, 1) by Andrew Clements, 2010. 160 pages. Published by Atheneum. Source: Library.

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 wondering 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!

First Sentence:

As the ship's bell clanged for the third time, Ben ran his tongue back and forth across the porcelain caps that covered his front teeth, a nervous habit.  

So, I admit that Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School was one series that was not on my radar. I only checked out the first two books in the series because I received the third for an audiobook review.
I am so thankful that I was given a reason to read this book because it was fun and witty.

In my opinion, one of the things the best things of We the Children was the plot. I loved how at the beginning of the book Ben, and then later Jill, are tasked with saving the school from being bull-dozed and turned into a theme park by the janitor of the school. Even more, that the Keepers were not just something dashed together by an employee who didn't want to loose his job, but was something long standing and implemented in the beginning of the school to insure that it would be there to benefit the children. I thought it was pretty cool the way that Mr. Clements set everything up and that with each book you find out a little more about the history of the school and its founder.

While at times Benjamin was kind of annoying as he tried to do everything himself, and with how he tended to act petty whenever he and Robert were around each other. I found him to be an interesting character. Mainly because as the book progressed he became a better sport and learned to work with others.
Jill was my favorite, at least in We the Children, because she was one of those resourceful charcters and just plain smart. Although, it was kind of fun to see how she and Ben clashed at first.
One of the things that really makes We the Children such a great read is that the plot is extremely fast paced, and Mr. Clements writing is fun and engaging without the reader feeling like they are being spoken down to. I thought he did a pretty great job of creating a book that had a good balance
of wit and the impossible.

The only thing that was less than favorable while reading the book is that the end leaves things incredibly unresolved as to the fate of the school that the captain had left behind for the children of Ben's town. So, if you think that you (or someone you know) is going to want to read We the Children I would recommend having book two at hand before starting because the story is captivating and the end will leaving you wanting to know what happens next.

Final Verdict: We the Children a great read for all ages. Action packed and well written.

We the Children earns 4 out of 5 pineapples. 

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