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We the Children (Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School, #1)
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We the Children (Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  2,135 Ratings  ·  300 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Apr 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Lars Guthrie
Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Many of us come equipped with a purist strain, a don't-change gene. I certainly do. So my first reaction upon seeing that Andrew Clements was writing a series? Without support from Brian Selznick? You can guess.

I like to think I can get past the rigid-thinking part of me, and in this case I did. The first in the 'Keepers of the School' series is great. Clements has aimed for an audience somewhere in between 'Jake Drake' and 'Frindle' and scored a bull's-eye.

Coming in at under 150 rapidly-paced p
Apr 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Children who like mystery series
Shelves: fantasy
The story begins with Ben rushing to get to class so he wont receive detention. Along the way, he finds the school janitor has injured his leg. As Ben is helping him, the janitor explains that the school is in danger and has Ben promise to help protect it. The janitor gives a mysterious coin to him which marks Ben as the “keeper of the school.” Ben enlists the help of the school's smartest girl and together they hope to unravel the clues that will keep their school from becoming an amusement par ...more
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Here's a multi-part story that shows some definite promise. Planned as the first installment of a six-book cycle called Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School, We the Children hits the ground running hard and only gets better from there, with some early glimpses of an adventure that could prove to be quite intriguing.

It all begins one day as Ben Pratt, an above-average student of "today" (2010) at a school built in the 1700s by a Revolutionary War notable named Captain Oakes, is unknow
Melanie Au
Ben is rushing to class one day at school, when he stops to help the janitor, Mr Keane, who hurt his ankle. The janitor suddenly gives him a mysterious coin and tells him he must fight to protect the school, which is going to be knocked down and replaced by a theme park. Ben becomes even more confused and anxious when Mr. Keanne dies in the hospital. What do the words on the coin mean? Why does the new janitor seem so suspicious of Ben? How can one boy stop a multimiillion dollar real-estate pro ...more
William Bentrim
May 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Keepers of the School-We the Children by Andrew Clements

This is a middle school focused book. It sets the stage at a converted factory that serves as a school. Left to the community, the eccentric ship captain that founded the school leaves an interesting legacy. Ben and Jill delve into the mystery of how to save the school from developers.

The character Ben is dealing with personal issues that are going to be quite common to the current generation of kids. His feelings and frustrations are clea
Maggie D.
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes mystery
Recommended to Maggie by: Nobody recommended it to me, it was a book club book.
I thought this book was a very interesting book. This book is not for you if you like lots of action. Although it's a great book for someone who loves mystery. I would recommend this book for anyone who doesn't love a ton of action or adventure but more mystery and likes to take the information about the mystery and plot of the story to try and put it together in different ways to solve it. This book has two main characters so if you are a person who likes different kinds of jobs and characters ...more
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is not the usual type of Clements novel. It started out less flashy, and slower, dialogue-wise, than most of his books. The drama he builds over the hidden secrets in the school grabs you by the end, and in the last half of the book he begins to build convincing friendships and rivalries which should prove to be the gel that makes this series even more compelling. When I came to the last page, I WAS disappointed that this was a series, and I had to wait for the next installment. Great editi ...more
Sep 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I wasn't sure what to think of this book it was surprisingly decent it had some mystery some action and a few other things that made it somewhat enjoyable. I would have liked it if there was more character development or more about the mystery that they are trying to solve ect a few things here and there. I guess that's why there is a sequel.I would say overall a pretty good book for young readers a nice pace personally I wish it could have been longer because 160 pages isn't quite cutting it fo ...more
Ava Hanadel
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cute and very short start to an exciting series.
Benjamin Pratt gets sucked into helping save his school all because he was in the right place at the wrong time. Or was he? He is perfect for this mission, and he has recruited his friend Jill to help. Book one is left on a bit of a cliffhanger so have the second book handy!
Richard Denney
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love being reminded how much I love middle grade reads!
fast paced, a lot of adventure and fun!

Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017
OBOB 2018, book 1. I am being harsh with this book because it cut off before anything could even happen! I realize it's a series, but shouldn't something toward the overall plot occur in the first book of a series?? I don't want to give away details, but I think there would have been a logical way to split up the books (quest by quest) and I was expecting to encounter at least one quest. Nope. Nothing. Maybe the next books in the series are good, but this one was done before it could develop int ...more
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Good read for 3rd graders and not much older. Not a very compelling story or characters for older readers.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book and all but my book club and I didn't like the ending one bit.
we thought they were rushing to get to the of the book so we would have to read the other book in the series. Also when we were reading, you know the lymon guy he was the spy and the spy was him.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Another example of a series that could be a whole lot shorter, or even just one book. The book does not feel like an entire adventure in itself with additional stories to come. It feels like the introduction to an adventure being stretched out by the publisher into a series. I realize the advantage of smaller books not intimidating younger readers but this one feels incomplete.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: elementary
I thought this book had some promise based on the summary and the fact that it was written by the author of Frindle which we (me and my son) liked a lot. I read it first to see if I wanted to read it to my son. I guess I liked it enough that I want to know what happened next, so I will read the first book to my son and see what he says.
Update: We started reading the first book with my 8 year old son and he thought the first chapter was interesting and wanted to read more. After first chapter, it
Star parts: I really liked Frindle, so I'll just start by saying if you haven't read it do. This book was purchased with the possibility of being a Grade 3 book club book. As a result of this I was reading it with a doubly critical head on; my writer head and my teacher head. As a writer this book is a great example of 'show not tell'. There seems to be just the right balance of action, in the characters head. The chapters are about the right length for a book club. The main character is very mu ...more
Apr 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: the store where I bought it for a refund
Reader beware: this is not a stand-alone story.
I knew that it was the first of a series, but I thought that each one would stand independently. Rather, it ends abruptly. You'll have to buy all the sequels in order to learn how the mystery is solved. And I, for one, won't. Because by the end of the first book, I have no attachment to the storyline, the characters, or the school that Benjamin Pratt is trying to save. In other words, after reading part one, I don't care how it ends.

The language in
Catherine Mcgahan
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read. The cliffhanger left me on the edge of my seat for the next one. James in Atlanta, Age 8
Steven R. McEvoy
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
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
Summary (
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 sc
Feb 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, for-review
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 th ...more
An Abundance of Books
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
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved reading this book when was a kid!
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

It is always fun to stumble upon a new children's series. Especially one with so much potential. WE THE CHILDREN, the first book in the new BENJAMIN PRATT AND THE KEEPERS OF THE SCHOOL series was really delightful. Benjamin Pratt attends the Oakes School which has been around since the late 1700's. It was founded by a sea captain and sits on a prime piece of New England property overlooking the sea. Benjamin is a good kid who is fond of
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
The first book in the Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School series, We the Children, introduces us to a pair of amateur middle school sleuths. When Roger Keane, the custodian of their middle school, needs help, Benjamin Pratt (Ben) steps in. His reward of sorts is a mysterious gold coin which is given after Ben promises to keep a secret and defend the school. The coin and the promise open Ben's eyes to mysterious and curious things at the Captain Duncan Oakes School.

The building had been
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
really cute story, kept my interest and I'm sure the rest of the series will be just as fun!
Sandra Stiles
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
We the Children is the first book in a new series by Andrew Clements which comes out in April of this year. In this first book we find Benjamin Pratt a young boy who must divide his time up between his separated parents. He lives in a small town and attend Captain Duncan Oakes School. Most schools aren't like this one. Captain Oaks had his tombstone built in the middle of the playground with a see-saw attached to it and rings for children to climb on it. It is through the halls of this school we ...more
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I was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1949 and lived in Oaklyn and Cherry Hill until the middle of sixth grade. Then we moved to Springfield, Illinois. My parents were avid readers and they gave that love of books and reading to me and to all my brothers and sisters. I didn’t think about being a writer at all back then, but I did love to read. I'm certain there's a link between reading good books an ...more
More about Andrew Clements...

Other Books in the Series

Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School (5 books)
  • Fear Itself (Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School, #2)
  • The Whites of Their Eyes (Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School, #3)
  • In Harm's Way (Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School, #4)
  • We Hold These Truths (Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School, #5)

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“Robert said, "This is great, huh? Sorry to butt in and everything, but I really need the extra points. For my grade."

Ben nodded and tried to smile. Right, for his grade. He probably wanted to get an A++ in social studies instead of just an A+”
“He spotted Jill sitting about thirty feet away, face tipped toward the sun, her straight brown hair tucked behind one ear and slanted across her neck. And Ben decided that when her mouth wasn't full of tuna salad, she was sort of pretty.” 4 likes
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