Over the past month Tristan has been reading his way through Britfield & the Lost Crown, a new adventure novel by C. R Stewart. In fact, he’s loving it so much he’s read it twice! Find out more about this novel and the ways you can interact with it.
Our family received a Kindle version of Britfield & the Lost Crown for Tristan to read, as well as to work his way through the 83-page PDF study guide that goes along with it. I also purchased the audio version to listen to while I was out for my daily walk. In addition, this book is also available in a soft-cover version for those who like to have a paperback or hard-cover in their hands.
I’ll start off by saying that Tristan really LOVED this book so much that he’s read it twice – once ‘for fun’ and then again to work his way through the study guide. He’s going to listen to the audio version next (I kept that one a secret until two days ago). This will mean both my children can listen to it together at bedtime. The audio is read in an English accent that is quite quick, but of course that adds to the urgency that is throughout this adventure book. I’m now used to English accents, having lived in the UK for 16 years, but I believe the accent is clear and easy to follow.
The audio book takes 9 hours and 25 minutes of listening time. There are 17 chapters that take you through England, from Yorkshire to London with Tom, Sarah, and a few other intriguing characters along the way. The story starts off in Weatherly, an orphange even worse than the one Annie was housed in. Tom and the other orphans are basically used as cheap labour and a way of collecting income from the government, with their work and living conditions being poor and strict. They don’t even have books – they sneak out and exchange a single book from the owners’ library and keep it hidden in a secret spot under the floor. Punishment is dealt out for very trivial infractions such as speaking, and punishment can range for more work to spending a month locked in the attic.
The young residents plot a way to make a great escape for Tom and Sarah possible, knowing that there will be repercussions for them all. It takes some serious planning and antics but they are successful. Because the Grievous’ (the orphanage owners) don’t want to be found out for the way they treat the children placed in their care, they hire a detective known for catching runaway orphans, and the chase is on through Oxford, Windsor Castle, and Canterbury Cathedral to escape the detective and his connections in Scotland Yard.
Along the way, Tom discovers who his parents may be, and this creates danger for those who are trying to help them along on the outside as it’s a threat to the whole structure of British society.
At the end, things are wrapped up nicely for all of the adjacent characters, and there’s a lead-in to the next book in the series that keeps you wanting to read more.
There is a lot of fun information on the website, and the Study Guide (just one of the interesting aspects to the site) is a very useful tool to help children learn even more about English history than the snippets that are included within the text of the book. The guide is divided into corresponding chapters of the book, and the main areas within each chapter are:
- Vocabulary – Both in multiple choice format as well as asking what the student thinks the word means and then looking up the dictionary definition.
- Comprehension questions – These questions ensure the student has read and understood the story. The questions ask for information found within the story.
- Going Deeper – These questions ask the student to think more critically and creatively by giving opinions and asking them what they would do in the same situation, or giving personal examples.
- Learn More With Technology – For these questions you must go online and do some research about various aspects of England and British life. From finding locations on a map to researching to learning about some of the oil paintings in Windsor Castle to learning more about orphanages around the world. These questions can easily be made more easy or difficult depending upon the abilities of the student.
The suggested time to work through the Britfield study guide is 8 weeks or longer; however, Tristan has almost completed the entire guide in 4 weeks by working more intensively over the summer while other classes are on hold. As I said earlier, he really likes this book and read it our of enjoyment in the evenings, and then again during the day before using the study guide.
Tristan likes that there aren’t any pictures in the book as he tells me he then gets distracted by them and they don’t let his imagination take him further into the story; he likes to see the story in his head as it’s described in the book. A kid after my own heart!
For a little extra fun, I surprised the kids with an afternoon tea party – and they knew that it is true here in the UK that tea is served at every occasion – even for reading a book! We all had a great time sitting together and chatting about the book.
I don’t think there’s anything I would change about Britfield & the Lost Crown; both Tristan and I have enjoyed the adventure novel and look forward to the next novel in 2020. The study guide brings more meaning into the book and helps children learn more about English history and tradition without distracting from the story itself. And the ending is an unexpected surprise…
Click here to read 75 more reviews about Britfield & the Lost Crown, by the Homeschool Review Crew. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow The Britfield Institute, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.