We Hold These Truths (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School Series #5)

( 4 )


Time is almost out for the Keepers of the School in this fifth Keepers adventure from Andrew Clements, the master of the school story.

The Keepers of the School—known to their friends as Ben, Jill, and Robert—have one last chance to save their school before it’s torn down to make room for a seaside amusement park. But their nemeses, Janitors Lyman and Wally, are just as determined to keep the kids out of the way and the demolition on schedule.

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We Hold These Truths

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Time is almost out for the Keepers of the School in this fifth Keepers adventure from Andrew Clements, the master of the school story.

The Keepers of the School—known to their friends as Ben, Jill, and Robert—have one last chance to save their school before it’s torn down to make room for a seaside amusement park. But their nemeses, Janitors Lyman and Wally, are just as determined to keep the kids out of the way and the demolition on schedule.

One way or the other, this battle is about to come to a head. When all is said and done, will the school still be standing? Or will everything the Keepers have fought for be destroyed?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Katie Kemple
It is the final week of school and Benjamin Pratt, Robert Gerritt and Jill Acton must act fast if they’re going to save the Captain Duncan Oakes School from demolition. The Glennley Group has a bulldozer parked outside, ready to crush the building and replace it with a theme park. Ben, Robert and Jill have a secret weapon: clues to hidden treasures Captain Oakes left to help future generations defend the school. With time running out, the trio decides to enlist the help of others to find the Captain’s treasures before the last day of school. They cleverly stage a debate in class—for and against the demolition of the school—to find students who feel as passionately as they do about saving the school. Along the way, they also find trustworthy adults in the school willing to help. The Glennley Group, meanwhile, has two janitors at the school spying on the kids: Mr. Lyman and his sidekick Wally. Distracting them becomes half the battle as Ben, Robert and Jill come closer to revealing the ultimate treasure. The fifth book in “The Keepers of the School” series, this one contains spoilers for readers who have not read the preceding stories. The first one hundred pages are action packed, but lack grounding details. For instance, why is defending the school so important to Ben, Robert and Jill? That changes in chapter twelve when Ben poses the question: what do I want? The story clicks from that point forward with fun twists and turns. The trio’s ability to lead their peers and adults in their mission is a positive example for readers on the eve of young adulthood. Reviewer: Katie Kemple; Ages 7 to 10.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416938903
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 12/17/2013
  • Series: Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School Series , #5
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 188,693
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Adam Stower has a rich imagination and loves fantasy and adventure stories. He studied illustration at the Norwich School of Art and Design and at the University of Brighton, and lives with his daughter in Brighton, England.

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Read an Excerpt

We Hold These Truths

  • It was seven fifty-five on Monday morning, and Benjamin Pratt was hiding in a huge clump of rhododendron. The bushes were about ten feet away from the path that went toward the Annex, the low building hooked onto the back of the Captain Duncan Oakes School. He was hiding because he knew that Robert Gerritt was going to come walking along here on his way to school in a few minutes, and when he did, Ben was going to jump up and scare the daylights out of him.

It was kind of a stupid idea, but Ben didn’t care. This was just for fun . . . and also because Gerritt was usually way too serious. A jolt of good old-fashioned panic might loosen the guy up a little.

It hardly seemed like a good moment to be goofing around . . . but that was sort of the point. Yes, the Glennley Group was still planning to demolish the Captain Oakes School this week; and yes, he and Jill and Robert only had two and half days left to stop all that; and yes, once they went inside, the rest of today was going to be risky and stressful and intense. But right now? Time to mess around.

Then something caught Ben’s eye, there at the back door of the Annex, the door to the playground.

Is that . . . ? Yes!

It was Wally, lurking in the hallway.

Wally and his boss, Mr. Lyman, worked for the Glennley Group, but they had also been posing as the school janitors, so they were in the building every day.

They didn’t know exactly what Ben and Jill and Robert were up to—and they certainly didn’t know that the three kids were part of a secret group called the Keepers of the School. And Lyman and Wally also didn’t know that the Keepers had a list of clues and that they had already located a bunch of things that the founder of the school had hidden back in the 1700s—things that Captain Oakes had hoped could be used as safeguards to protect his legacy.

But the two fake janitors did know that the kids were looking for something inside the school and that they were dead set against the new theme park that the Glennley company was planning to build here once the school was torn down. So, the two men simply tried to watch them—all day, every day.

Ben had to squint a little to see Wally because of the reflection on the glass of the door, but the guy was definitely there. Well . . . so what? Was that any reason to pass up a perfect chance to prank Gerritt? No way!

Ben was sweating like crazy. This was supposed to turn into a really hot day, and it was already about eighty degrees and very humid. But he tried to ignore the discomfort . . . and also the huge bumblebees that buzzed among the pink and white blossoms.

It was seven fifty-eight now, and he watched as two buses came rumbling into the driveway. Then glancing back to his left, he spotted Robert. He was coming toward the back of the school along the path from School Street, head down, lost in thought, walking like he was in a huge hurry—same as always.

Ben crouched lower, ready to leap up and scream like a madman.

But before he could move, the door at the back corner of the Annex opened and Wally rushed out. The stocky little man walked quickly across the playground and stopped right in front of Robert, who looked up at him, totally surprised.

Ben wasn’t close enough to hear what the man said, but five seconds later he saw Robert’s reaction perfectly. Gerritt actually shoved Wally! He pushed right past him, and then yelled, “You don’t know anything!”

Robert steamed ahead past the Annex and went toward the old building, joining the crowd of kids who had gotten off the buses. Wally watched Gerritt a moment, and then, after a shifty look around the school yard, he hurried back to the door he’d come from.

Ben sat still for about half a minute, completely stunned. Then he backed away through the bushes, picked his way out to Washington Street, and ended up standing beside the seawall in front of the school.

The water of Barclay Bay lay flat and calm; hardly a ripple. There was a stream of dark smoke from the funnel of a distant ship, well out to sea. But Ben barely saw it, barely heard the gulls that wheeled above him, their cries sharp in the still morning air.

He felt like he’d just seen something important. Why had Wally wanted to have a secret conversation with Robert? And what could have made Robert react like that?

Well, I could text Gerritt right now, tell him I saw the whole thing, and ask him what’s up . . .

But it might be better to deal with it later, when they could talk face-to-face. Because he’d meet up with Robert during second period language arts, for sure. And if that wasn’t the right time, they could talk at lunch.

’Cause I don’t want Gerritt to think I was spying on him or something . . .

Besides, maybe Robert would text him during homeroom and tell him all about it.

Yeah, I’d better wait.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013


    Great last book in the series. I did not see the romance at the end coming;)neither did I see lymans change coming

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 18, 2014

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    Posted March 26, 2014

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    Posted December 24, 2013

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