Britfield & the Lost Crown is written by C.R. Stewart who has over 20 years experience in writing fiction, non-fiction, and movie screen plays. The book is a 394 page paperback that was written with ages 10-18 in mind. It is the first in a series of 5 books. Britfield & the Lost Crown takes place in England. The second book Britfield & the Rise of the Lion takes place in France. Book III will take place in Italy and books IV and V are still being planned.
Britfield & the Lost Crown starts off at Weatherly, an orphanage in England. The children there are treated horribly and are used to work and make money for the Grievouses, the people that run the orphanage. The children try to find some ways to enjoy life, such as "borrowing" books from the mansion to read. After such an escapade, Tom is summoned to the office where he is told his parents may be alive and he will get more information about them by giving information about what is going on in the orphanage. When Tom's friend Sarah receives an especially harsh punishment, Tom decides it is time to break her out and attempt an escape. With the help of the other orphans at Weatherly they are successful. Tom has one clue to his family, the word Britfield.
Sarah and Tom's escape is not easy and they are being followed by the famous Detective Gowerstone. Their adventure takes them throughout England in a hot air balloon, to Oxford, Windsor Castle, London, St. Paul's Cathedral, Canterbury and more. Many people help them throughout their journey but at times they are unsure who they can really trust. As they travel Tom is trying to find out more information about his clue to his family but that clue leads him and Sarah into even more danger.
To go along with the book there is a free 8 week study guide available on the Britfield Institute Website. The study guide has four main parts for each section: vocabulary, comprehension, going deeper, and learn more with technology. The vocabulary section has different vocabulary exercises such as filling in the blanks, writing definitions, matching, even a crossword puzzle and a word search. The comprehension questions are questions that students can answer straight from the reading. The Going Deeper section has deeper questions for students to answer and sometimes other activities such as drawings for them to do. The Learn More with Technology has students looking up facts online such as Who is Winston Churchill? or When did Queen Victoria rule? and writing down their answers.
I like to pre-read newer books by authors I am not familiar with before handing them off to my children so I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing this book myself. I have to say that the this adventure story drew me in and kept me turning the pages to see how it would turn out. I finished the book in a week-end. The story is compelling and full of adventure. Children will want to keep reading to see what will happen next. There are a ton of fun realistic details about life in England and famous places and people. I love that children will be challenged with the vocabulary that is used in the book and I found nothing objectionable in the book. The character and setting descriptions are wonderful. Several elements of the story are resolved by the end but there are some things that we do not know that will carry on into the next book. I can't wait to find out what happens next.
My 14 year old is having foot surgery next week and will be down for a couple of weeks recovering so I am saving Britfield & the Lost Crown to give him something to do during this time. He will love it!
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