April 2010

We the Children: Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School

Author: Andrew Clements

Pages: 160

Ages: 7-10

Release Date: April 6, 2010 – Atheneum

ISBN: 978-1416938866

I think that We the Children: Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School is interesting. There is a mystery; it’s exciting and fun to read.  There is a treasure that the janitor gives to Ben.  Every day Ben and Jill find more clues and things that people with money don’t want them to find.  Things start happening, for instance the janitor dies. It is scary.

I did not like that the book did not tell you the whole story.  I did like the book, but you have to read the next book to know what happened.  I would enjoy reading the next book and I think they should make more books.

Special guest review by Dierdre, age 9.

She received an Advance Reader’s Copy of the book from Simon and Schuster.


Eye of the Red Tsar: A Novel of Suspense

Author: Sam Eastland

Pages: 288

Release Date: April 27, 2010 – Bantam

ISBN: 978-0553807813

In Eye of the Red Tsar, Nicholas II’s special investigator, the Emerald Eye, is arrested following the Bolshevik revolution.  The Eye, also known as Pekkala, is sent to the Gulag where he spends the next dozen years. Then several bodies are found in a mineshaft and Pekkala is released to determine if the bodies are those of the missing Tsar and his family and if they are, to determine who killed them.  Someone apparently does not want him to find out the truth and witnesses begin having unfortunate accidents.  So is it really the Tsar and his family at the bottom of the mineshaft, and if so, who killed them?  Read the book to find out, it is worth it.

The story takes place in 1929 but there are frequent flashbacks to Pekkala’s past, his childhood, training, the revolution, and his arrest and torture.  Pekkala’s background has been set up and he has the makings of a very good character, we will have to wait and see how he develops in the next book. Yes, there is a next book coming in 2011.

The book was well written, especially for a first effort, although the ending did feel a little rushed. Recommended.

I received an Advance Reader’s Edition of this book from the Library Thing Early Reviewer program.