Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Britfield & The Lost Crown, by C.R. Stewart - A Crew Review

I've said it before, and I'm saying it again, we are a family of book lovers. Typically, we have at least a few new titles in various stages of reading placed throughout the house. This summer was busy, chaotic even, and I realized that sadly, we were in a bit of a literature drought. We had been running around so much that there wasn't much time to seek out a fresh read. Happily, The Homeschool Review Crew was here to help. We received a copy of the new book to review,  Britfield & The Lost Crown , by C.R. Stewart.
Novels almost always appeal to me, if only because they are an enjoyable escape. What immediately caught my eye with this book though, was the setting, Yorkshire, England. My husband and I love the UK, having spent a year there as newlyweds, and our 13 year old has become quite the Anglophile herself. We spent many weekends in the Yorkshire area, as well as other places mentioned throughout the story. 

A Story set in Yorkshire, and a Yorkshire Terrier- perfect!

This story is for the teen/young adult crowd. At 386 pages long, it seems like a more lengthy read, but the typeface is larger, and I actually read it cover to cover in 2 days, taking a it at a leisurely pace. It can easily be read it in a longer or shorter period of time. That first sentence of a book sets the tone and the pace of the story. I love when the plot takes no time in grabbing my attention. Britfield does just that, and with the first line, you're transported to the room called "The Factory", which is the workroom within Weatherly, a run down orphanage. It is run by a greedy and nasty couple, Mr. and Mrs. Grievous, who, along with their subordinates Speckle, Brewster and Sludge, make the lives of the poor children that reside there, horrific. 

Twelve year old Tom doesn't remember a time when he wasn't living within the desolate halls of Weatherly. He has flashes of a memory where he is playing in a big yard, but is then abruptly taken. Sarah is his best friend, and they, along with the other orphans, are a tight knit group that look out for each other, even when it means that as individuals, they receive terrible punishments. Tom finds himself in such a position after being caught out of bed one night. Mr. Grievous takes advantage of the fact that Sarah is his best friend, and threatens to punish her if Tom doesn't confess all of the wrongdoings of the orphans. Tom determines that it's time to make an escape, and he's taking Sarah with him.

Signed copy!

What follows is an elaborate plan that takes a few bumpy turns, but results in a successful breakout. But they're far from safe. As Tom comes to know, his past includes a potentially dangerous secret. What follows is a fantastical story that takes Tom and Sarah, often via hot air balloon, through Yorkshire, to Oxford University, to Windsor Castle, and then Canterbury. They only have one piece of information, and that is the word Britfield. Thanks to a kind college professor, a few sympathetic folks, and a great deal of courage and determination, the pair uncover an unbelievable part of Tom's past.

I like the extra details that the author provides about English culture. 

I enjoyed this book, and I was happy to see that this is the first in a series. The only problem with that though, is that now we have to wait until next year to see where this revelation regarding Tom will take him and Sarah. The adventures that these best friends faced were something out of a kids' adventure film. There were a couple of things that I particularly liked about this story. The first on is the relationship that the author has forged between the orphans. Many stories tell tales of bullying within the children, but that isn't the case here. Instead, the kids have a strong connection with each other, and always look to protect those in trouble. In fact, throughout the story, Tom and Sarah never forget their friends, and think of ways that they might return and help their "family". What a great message! Love it. Another aspect that I appreciated about this book was that the history of the various places visited was mentioned and taught. It's subtle, but provides a nice background for the reader, while adding a little history/geography lesson. Very nice.

Another example about the extra English facts.

And another example.

There's even more. Parents and teachers can implement a study guide that supplements the book. It is an eight week guide, and can be used chapter by chapter. That's a nice option, particularly if you use this book as a read aloud in your school studies. You could use this as an extra activity, or as a supplement for history, geography, or wherever you find that it fits. With our nutty schedule this summer, we weren't able to use this guide to accompany, but we've taken a look through the pages. There are vocabulary, comprehension, and small research opportunities. Even if you were to use this as discussion points to talk about aloud rather than write, it's a nice supplement.

It's always great to add a new title to your reading list, and this is one that I would encourage you to pencil in. As for me and my daughter, we'll be on the lookout come Fall 2020 to grab the next one in the series. Happy Reading!

Find Britfield & The Lost Crown on social media:
Read more Crew reviews about Britfield & The Lost Crown by clicking on the banner below!
Britfield & the Lost Crown  {Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

No comments:

Post a Comment