The first in a six-book series, We the Children follows Ben, his tech-savvy friend, Jill, and the class know-it-all, Robert, as they uncover a remarkable history and use it to protect the school.
Sixth grader Benjamin Pratt loves history, which makes going to the historic Duncan Oakes School a pretty cool thing. But a wave of commercialization is hitting the area and his beloved school is slated to be torn down to make room for an entertainment park. This would be most kids’ dream—except there’s more to the developers than meets the eye… and more to the school. Because weeks before the wrecking ball is due to strike, Ben finds an old leather pouch that contains a parchment scroll with a note three students wrote in 1791. The students call themselves the Keepers of the School, and it turns out they’re not the only secret group to have existed at Duncan Oakes.
This suspenseful novel, which launches Clements's (No Talking) Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series, catapults Ben into a mystery surrounding his seaside school. Founded by a Revolutionary War era sea captain, the school is slated to be demolished to make way for an amusement park. Just before he dies, the longtime custodian gives the sixth grader a gold coin imprinted with the founder's declaration that the school belongs to the children and cryptic instructions on how to defend it. Ben and his friend Jill set out to decode the message, a process that involves some intriguing questions and maneuverings. Clements has the makings of an action-lover's dream scenario: a school setting full of history and secrets, a tense kids-versus-adults dynamic, and a sailing race to boot. Some may be disappointed by how little is revealed, though, and the climactic race, while exciting, ends the story abruptly. Characteristically, Clements probes his hero's personal quandaries, as Ben deals with his parents' separation, his growing feelings for Jill, and the potential loss of his beloved school. Ages 7 10.