We the Children

We the Children

For Ages: 7 - 10
  • 5
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!

Don’t think Ben, his friend Jill (and the tag-along Robert) can ruin a multimillion dollar real estate deal? Then you don’t know the history and the power of the Keepers of the School. A suspenseful six book series, book one, We the Children, starts the battle on land and on sea. It’s a race to keep the school from turning into a ticket booth and these kids are about to discover just how threatening a little knowledge can be.
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 176 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416939078 | 
  • April 2011 | 
  • Grades 2 - 5
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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Book One of Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School
by Andrew Clements


1. One of the first things readers learn about Ben is that he has caps on his front teeth.  What happened to his front teeth?  How does this experience affect his feelings about saving Oakes School?

2. What does Mr. Keane give Ben?  Who owned this object before Mr. Keane?  Why does Mr. Keane believe the school is about to be attacked?  

3. Who was Duncan Oakes?  What objects in and around the school remind students of Captain Oakes?  Does your school have paintings, statues, trophies, or other items that help students remember its past?  Do you ever think about these items?  If so, describe one or more of these items and what thoughts, ideas, or inspiration they bring to you.

4. In Chapter 3, Ben thinks to himself, “Welcome to the exciting new theme of Benjamin Pratt's life-change.”  List three changes about which Ben is thinking.  How does Ben feel about all these changes?  Is change a theme in your life?  If so, in what ways?

5. Who is Mr. Lyman?  Why is he different from past janitors at Oakes School?  What secrets does Jill discover about Mr. Lyman?  In addition to Mr. Lyman, from whom do Ben and Jill keep Mr. Keane's coin and last words secret?  Do you think this see more

More Books from this Author

Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School Collection
The Jake Drake Collection
The Map Trap
We Hold These Truths

About the Author

Andrew Clements
Photo Credit:

Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. He lives with his wife in Maine and has four grown children. Visit him at AndrewClements.com.