Posts tagged middle school
Ben Pratt is a sixth grader at the historic Oakes School, which is about to be torn down and turned into an amusement park. Just before the mysterious death of the school janitor, Mr. Keane, he passes on a directive to Ben in the form of a coin. This coin has been passed from janitor to janitor since the school was built. Inscribed on the coin are the words “First and always my school belongs to the children. DEFEND IT. Duncan Oakes 1783.”
By teaming up with fellow classmate Jill, they race against the clock to find the clues hidden within the school, while trying to stay under the radar of the new janitor, Lyman, who is not what he appears to be.
This is an enjoyable short mystery. I wish it could have been longer, but the author picks up where the story leaves off in Book Two, Fear Itself. Ben is going through a tough time since his parents decided to separate. He spends one week with his dad and one week with his mom. Despite getting involved in saving the school, he still holds on to the days when they were a family.
Wonderful pen and ink illustrations by Adam Stower are woven throughout the story to give it that something extra. I highly recommend this book for reluctant readers, but make sure you have the sequel handy because Clements leaves you wanting more. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until January 2012 for Book Three, The Whites of Their Eyes. Well worth the wait!
Publisher: Antheneum (April 2010)
Not available as an eBook at this time.
Image from www.goodreads.com
FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from the local library.