I recently reviewed a juvenile fiction filled with action and adventure called Britfield & the Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart from Britfield & the Lost Crown. It is a fast-paced adventure that transports the reader from the smoldering crags of Yorkshire, through the heart of England, and finally to the magnificent shores of Dover. Creating an interactive world of mystery and adventure, culture and education. Britfield is about family, friendship, loyalty, and courage.
Tom, number forty-seven, was locked up at Wimberly Orphanage for six miserable years. Every morning, each orphan marched to work in the factory. Girls made wicker baskets and boys made wooden chairs and tables to be sold in the local villages. The only enjoyment they had was reading. Each month, one orphan sneaked out at night to borrow one of the books from the Grievouses’ Victorian mansion, each book was exchanged for one of their own. Although Tom knew any violation of the Wimberly Rule Book resulted in punishment, it was his turn.
As the story unfolds, Tom finds out his parents are still alive so he makes plans to escape with his best friend Sarah. With the orphans help, they escape through underground tunnels. Tom and Sarah had run about two miles from Weatherly, ducking behind bushes when police cars raced by. Now, they are being chased by Detective Arthur Gowerstone. They discover a balloon and launch it in the air to blend in with a balloon festival. Here, Tom reads the note that Patrick passed on to him while leaving the orphanage - BRITFIELD is all it says. The balloon runs out of fuel and they end up at Trinity College. Here, Tom researches Britfield in the library and discovers it was a prominent family in England; but the information ends in 1837, when Princess Victoria became Queen of Great Britain and a new era was born. Professor Hainsworth offers to pay for fuel for the balloon and travel with them to London to find out more about the Britfield family.
As the story continues, Tom, Sarah, and Professor Hainsworth end up in Hyde Park where Prince Philip discovers that Tom had not been taken care of ten years ago; and so the adventure continues. They end up staying at Duke’s Hotel to visit Dr. Beagleswick at King’s College to see what he knows about the Britfield family. He had been collecting information for years. Queen Victoria’s reign was a long and powerful one. Because of her popularity, nothing could be done to challenge her claim to the throne, so the Britfields waited patiently. Those who didn’t leave Britain moved to southern England and hid in isolated manors along the coast. Queen Victoria died in 1901, and was succeeded by her son, Edward VII, but that only lasted nine years, and George V took over the monarchy and changed their to the House of Windsor. Two decade later was World War II and the country rallied behind their king. Thy dynasty searched for any remaining Britfield and anyone found alive was dealt with severely. The last remaining family moved to a secret location in Kent. Decades passed with no further trouble until one day the Britfields were betrayed by a close friend. Their house was found and their only child, a son, was taken. Devasted and in fear for their own lives, they left England forever. The Archbishop of Canterbury was their closest friend and confidant; and Tom is told if anyone knows where the last Britfields are, he does. Needless to say, they are on another adventure.
They reach Canterbury Cathedral and speak with the Archbishop. He gives Tom a folded paper with everything written down – the Britfields moved to France seven years ago and are staying at the royal Chateau de Chambord in the Loire River Valley. Here, Detective Gowerstone catches up with Tom and Sarah. They thought they were going to be arrested and sent back to the orphanage; but come to find out Detective Gowerstone was trying to reach them to help them, as he was the one who was sent ten years ago to look for the son that was taken. Professor Hainsworth takes Tom and Sarah to France while Detective Gowerstone gathers a force of policemen and heads to Weatherly. He arrested the Grievouses and made sure each orphan went to a loving home. As for Tom and Sarah, their adventure continues in Britfield & the Rise of the Lion, Book II. I can’t wait to read this book in the fall of 2020!
There is an 83-page pdf study guide that goes along with this book. The study guide is intended to be used over eight weeks (or longer) taking students through the book chapter by chapter. The study guide includes vocabulary, comprehension questions, going deeper, and resources for the student to learn more with technology.
Visit the Crew Blog to read what the Homeschool Review Crew has to say about Britfield & the Lost Crown.