New Mystery Series from Clements Makes School Cool Again
I am a big fan of Andrew Clements. I have read several of his books with my oldest son. They are smart and entertaining stories with well-crafted characters, plots and lessons. When I saw that Clements was writing a series I was a little interested. Then I discovered it was a mystery - very interesting. I decided to read it. not a very difficult deceision really.
By Andrew Clements
For Ages 8 - 12
Think “Hardy Boys” as written by the author of “Frindle” – likable characters, interesting twists, a gold coin from 1783 and a mystery. Ben is a sixth-grader in a small New England town. His parents have recently split and his school has been sold to an amusement park company, which plans to tear it down. Now he reluctantly finds himself embroiled in a mystery and ready to defend and save the school. Rated 4.5 (intrigue, slow pacing, deep subject matter)
Most children have read Frindle by the time they begin fourth grade and are very familiar with Clements’ school stories. This year, when your children head back to school there will be a series of school stories waiting for them on the bookstore shelves. “Keepers of the School” follows Ben, a sixth-grader in a small New England town. His parents have recently split and his school has been sold to an amusement park company, which plans to tear it down.
On his way to class Ben finds the janitor having a heart attack. The janitor gives Ben a gold coin from 1783. It has been handed down through the years beginning with the founder of Captain Duncan Oakes School. It reads, "First and always, my school belongs to the children. DEFEND IT." A few hours later, the janitor is dead and Ben finds himself involved in a mystery surrounding the school, its history and the impending demolition. With the help of his friend Jill, Ben sets out to defend the school.
Clements does a great job creating likable characters with depth. Full-page and spot illustration in pen and ink add to the drama and excitement. There is even a pretty exciting sailboat race where Ben walks away a hero. This is a good choice for boys and girls looking for a mystery.