Fear Itself (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School Series #2)

Fear Itself (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School Series #2)

4.5 8
by Andrew Clements, Adam Stower
     
 

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The second book in this riveting and mysterious six-book series is as action-packed as the first one, culminating in a faceoff between Ben, Jill, and Lyman. “After five bells sound, time to sit down” makes for a good riddle, but Ben and Jill also knows when it’s time to stand up…for Oakes School and for themselves.

Time is tickingSee more details below

Overview

The second book in this riveting and mysterious six-book series is as action-packed as the first one, culminating in a faceoff between Ben, Jill, and Lyman. “After five bells sound, time to sit down” makes for a good riddle, but Ben and Jill also knows when it’s time to stand up…for Oakes School and for themselves.

Time is ticking as the countdown to Ben Pratt’s school’s total demolition continues. Ben has been given a handful of clues that could help them save the school, but they are all written in maritime riddles. “After five bells sound, time to sit down.” What the heck does that mean? It’s hard to know where to begin when Ben and Jill don’t even know what they are looking for. All Lyman, the snake posing as the school janitor, needs to know, though, is that they are looking, and that could mean the end of the 30-million-dollar development deal that pays his salary. (Which, by the way, is MUCH larger than what a typical janitor makes.) As Lyman lurks in the shadows—and sometimes not in the shadows—Ben and Jill have to add another to-do to their list of things to accomplish in the next twenty-one days: (1) Figure out the clues left by past Keepers of the School groups, (2) figure out how these clues will help them save the school, and (3) stay one step ahead of Lyman. That’s the mission…which seems, at times, impossible.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—In the second installment (2011) in the series by Andrew Clements, Benjamin Pratt and his friend Jill are still trying to save their historic New England school from demolition by amusement-park developers. After the untimely death of the school janitor, Mr. Keane, the new hire, seems to be stalking Ben and Jill as they attempt to uncover the meaning behind a mysterious clue: "after five bells sound, time to sit down." With the help of keys given to Ben by Mr. Keane's widow, Ben and Jill uncover a peculiar document called a codicil. They soon discover that they may have found just the thing to save their school, if they can only keep it out of the hands of the creepy new janitor. Keith Nobbs provides skillful narration. Fans of the first book, We the Children (2010, both Atheneum), will be delighted with this second adventure and eagerly await the next one. Although it can stand on its own, listeners will understand the plot better if they are familiar with the first book. For school and public libraries.—Amy Joslyn, Fairport Public Library, NY
From the Publisher
Gr 3-6–Although this book is a satisfying read by itself, the story will make more sense to readers familiar with We the Children (S & S, 2010). Benjamin Pratt and his friend Jill are trying to find the clues that will keep their 200-year-old school from being torn down and replaced by a theme park. Ben goes to the funeral of Mr. Keane, the janitor who died in the first book, where he meets Tom Benton, who held the job before Mr. Keane. The janitor’s widow gives Ben a large set of keys, and he and Jill solve the clue, “after five bells sound, time to sit down” and find a codicil from Duncan Oakes, founder of the school, that might change everything. The current janitor is stalking Ben and Jill and taunts them with the fact that in three weeks the building will be demolished. Expressive pen-and-ink illustrations add detail and excitement to the adventure, including the clues and coins found. Solid writing, likable characters, danger, a seaside setting, and now treasure will make readers eager for the third installment.–Debbie Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI

- SLJ Sept 2010

Working frantically to save their historic school from the wrecking ball scheduled in three weeks, sixth graders Ben Pratt and Jill Acton find the first of five safeguards planted more than 200 years earlier, an ally and treasure that may also help their cause. The story opens immediately after Ben has saved his arch enemy’s life, and readers will need to be familiar with We the Children (2010), the first in this planned six-volume series, to identify the characters and understand their relationships. Like that title, this is fast-paced and full of intriguing details ranging from clues leading to a hidden document and antique coins to the story of Horatio at the bridge and references to Jack London. Ben alternates between parents; in the first book he was living on his father's sailboat, so this week, he's home with his mother. Janitor Lyman continues to threaten, and even Jill seems nervous. The Massachusetts seaside setting takes a back seat to the increasing tension. Readers who’ve begun this well-written, modern kid-power mystery series will be glad to see this and eager for more. - KIRKUS, November 15, 2010

Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
This is book two in the "Keepers" series, with Benjamin Pratt and best friend Jill Acton struggling to find hidden clues that will keep their school from being torn down to make way for an amusement park. Ben and Jill attend the Captain Oakes School, so named for the Massachusetts sea captain who turned his warehouse into the town school. The school sits on valuable oceanfront land and the town has decided to sell the school so that it can build a new middle school elsewhere. Captain Oakes seemed to want to guard against such an event and so hid several clues—safeguards—to protect the school from such an end. In Book 2, the two youngsters are looking for a safeguard with hopes of stopping the demolition. Their biggest obstacle is Lyman, the "janitor" who is really working for the company that bought the property. He is a creepy man who seems to be everywhere, watching Ben and Jill. As Ben and Jill feel they are getting closer to a breakthrough, he threatens them to stop their efforts. Ben makes the acquaintance of a former janitor, Tom Benton, one of the first Keepers of the School, who will help but with only twenty one days left, they know that they will need to find those safeguards quickly. The novel has its share of twists and turns; Ben's parents have separated and Jill's have argued about the sale of the school. Their friendship is based on their shared interest but tinged with the realities of their personal lives as well. This is a series that will hook its preteen readers with the relationships and mysteries. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
Kirkus Reviews

Working frantically to save their historic school from the wrecking ball scheduled in three weeks, sixth graders Ben Pratt and Jill Acton find the first of five safeguards planted more than 200 years earlier, an ally and treasure that may also help their cause. The story opens immediately after Ben has saved his arch enemy's life, and readers will need to be familiar withWe the Children(2010), the first in this planned six-volume series, to identify the characters and understand their relationships. Like that title, this is fast-paced and full of intriguing details ranging from clues leading to a hidden document and antique coins to the story of Horatio at the bridge and references to Jack London. Ben alternates between parents; in the first book he was living on his father's sailboat, so this week, he's home with his mother. Janitor Lyman continues to threaten, and even Jill seems nervous. The Massachusetts seaside setting takes a back seat to the increasing tension. Readers who've begun this well-written, modern kid-power mystery series will be glad to see this and eager for more.(Mystery. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442462120
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
03/20/2012
Series:
Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School Series , #2
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
181,035
Lexile:
800L (what's this?)
File size:
13 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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