Britfield & The Lost Crown Review
I'm sort of a mystery wrapped in an enigma. I am a mom, homeschool parent, and an ESL teacher. I love books. I love to look at books. I love the feel and the look of books. I love to buy books. I love to go to the library with our boys. The problem? I'm not a big reader. Strange, right? I love books, but I just can't get into them most of the time and I lose interest quickly. Not so with this book. "Britfield & The Lost Crown", by C. R. Stewart, kept my interest the entire time.
I was really surprised that I enjoyed it that much. Not to say that I thought that it was a bad book at all! It just really isn't meant to be an adult book. It's meant for elementary age children. They even have an 83 page study guide to go along with the book. But, more about that later.
When we were offered the chance to review this book, I just wasn't sure whether our boys would enjoy it or not. They both have other books that they are reading for school, so this one would be an extra. I thought that it looked interesting enough, so I decided to get it and read it myself. That way, I could decide if it would work for either of our older boys, 10 and 15. I am so glad that I read this book. As I said earlier, I never lost interest while reading this book. I was actually irritated when I had to stop reading in order to tend to the baby, cook dinner, or even worse, clean! All joking aside, I did just want to sit there and keep reading. Unfortunately, life with a newborn doesn't allow that kind of life. I did however, use the time that I needed to feed him as the perfect time to read.
This book is about a boy named Tom. He lives in an orphanage in England. He, along with his fellow orphans, plan an elaborate rescue attempt to save Tom's friend, Sarah, from solitary confinement in the orphanage. They escape from the orphanage, but their adventures don't stop there. They find a hot air balloon and fly across England, stopping at Oxford, Windsor Castle, and other places in England. This book kept me guessing about what was going to come next in their adventures and if these poor kids were ever going to get a break.
There is so much historical and geographical detail in this book. I was impressed by how much information is in this book! It gives great detail of what things look, smell, sound, taste, and feel like. I felt like I was watching a movie, except the movie was in my mind. The way that the author uses words really made be feel like I was there. I have a funny story to tell about this. It's kind of embarrassing, but it will prove my point about how real this book seems. One night, when my husband and I were chatting after he got home, I almost started talking to him about the people in the book as though they were real and that those things really happened. Have you ever done that? I have with a tv show, where I'm thinking about it even after I've watched it as though it was real. That was how it was with this book. I rooted Tom and Sarah on along their entire adventure. I was sad when something bad happened to them and cheered for them when someone was kind and helped them.
As I stated before, there is an 83 page study guide that goes with this book! After reading it myself, I think that my 10 year old will really enjoy this book. The study guide will really help him get more out of the book and understand some of the words used. For each chapter, there are vocabulary word activities, comprehension questions, a personal application section called "Going Deeper", and finally a way to find out more information using technology called "Learn More with Technology". They really have thought of everything in order to get themes out of this information packed adventure book. They even placed maps at the beginning of the actual book for reference was you're reading. Very cool!
If you're wondering what level this book would be for, look at the page sample below. I can usually get an idea if it would work for my boys by looking at how big the font is.
It is a 383 page book with pretty good sized font. Like I said, I think this would be good for my 10 year old. He is a really good reader and would enjoy the story line. The size of the book would be overwhelming for him. I would definitely assign certain chapters at a time, so that it is more manageable for him to handle.
I really enjoyed reading "Britfield & The Lost Crown"! It will be fun to share this story with our middle son. I can't wait until their next book comes out so that I can find out what happens to Tom and Sarah!
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