Britfield & The Lost Crown is an adventure-type story, which focuses on two supposed orphans who reside in an absolutely horrid orphanage called Weatherly Orphanage, somewhere in England. They are treated cruelly for reasons they do not understand and seek to escape. Tom (the main male character) finds out some devastatingly important information about himself shortly before he makes his escape attempt. He is accompanied by his friend Sarah (the main female character) and they are assisted by other residents of the orphanage.
Almost immediately upon their escape, they are pursued by law enforcement, and they have to take drastic measures to get away. The rest of the story centers on their attempts to elude their pursuers and another set of people who are also after them (and trying to kill them--they are shot at by one of the pursuers).
I don't want to give away any more of the plot than that, so we'll leave that there. :)
What did I think of the story? Hmmm. I thought it was somewhat enigmatic -- in one sense it sounded like a scenario out of Oliver Twist (the cruelty and hopelessness of the orphans) but then again at different times things like laptops and cell phones were mentioned. Tom and Sarah lucked into some things that amazingly they could easily use with quite a bit of skill (hot air balloon?!)
Tom and Sarah make a new friend who helps them get away a bit but then he is captured. They continue on their escape route, trying to get away from their pursuers who seem to find them wherever they are. The local police from Weatherly somehow are still following them in London.
I don't know...We personally didn't love the story. I think that it might have made a good read-aloud when my kids were younger (maybe with a little creative editing-while-reading to soften some of the parts about being shot at). It was a lot of chasing, so if you enjoy chase scenes, maybe this is the book for you and your child. Not exactly our favorite. But then again, my kids are high school aged. :)
However, it did not have lots of objectionable material in it either. I would feel fine with having a middle schooler or older elementary student read this book independently, it lacks inappropriate themes which seem to pervade middle schoolers' literature nowadays.
If you choose to use this book as a part of your homeschool, you may be interested to learn that there is a study guide that accompanies it. This study guide covers vocabulary, comprehension questions, and more. I really like the way that it covers vocabulary by stating a sentence, asking the student what they think the word means, and then having the student look it up in the dictionary to get the correct meaning. This is a great exercise in using context clues to decipher words.
So...basically it is not one of our favorite books, though it is definitely not objectionable. I think that the value of this book would be as a book for a middle schooler to read for enjoyment or as a part of their reading curriculum.
I readily admit that my take on a book is not the only valid one! There were lots of people who got to review this book -- the softcover book (which I received) as well as some who viewed an e-book, and others who listened to the audio version of the book. Please click on the link below to read more reviews of the book and study guide and maybe you'll want to give it a try!