Britfield & the Lost Crown {a mid grade mystery novel review}


Britfield and the Lost Crown- a new favorite mid grade novel

Our nightly family read aloud for the last several weeks has been the wonderful adventure novel, Britfield & the Lost Crown written by C.R. Stewart. This 394 page mystery begins at Weatherly, an orphanage run by abusive adults. Here, Tom and Sarah, along with every other girl and boy resident, are labor workers with no freedoms, no books, no education. After outwitting the owners and employees of Weatherly, Tom and Sarah escape their captors; but the clue Tom found about his past is sending them on a truly exciting adventure.

With characters the whole family will enjoy, on the-edge-of-your-seat mystery, and action packed adventure, this novel is going to be a family favorite for years to come! (My children are already begging for more books in the series!)

Using Britfield & the Lost Crown in our Homeschool

As a mama, my favorite part of the book is not only how well written it is (adventure, suspense, excitement, endearing characters), but the vocabulary and settings of the storyline. The vocabulary used is unsurpassed for the 9-12 age group! We even had to look up a few words during our bedtime read alouds. So many aspects, vocabulary and setting included, make this a wonderful read aloud for history studies or unit studies.

Britfield is designed to be taught in schools and homeschool groups, even offering a thorough study guide covering each chapter. We have used the study guide orally, working through it as a family. I love the format of this guide, because it has a lot of room for open ended questions- what do you think trepidation means?- then offering a space for the actual dictionary definition. Vocabulary and comprehension are covered, along with a Going Deeper section that is all open ended questions.  Imagine you are in the Weatherly office and Mr. Grievous is questioning you. Would you respond like Tom? Why or why not? The vocabulary and comprehension sections are creative and vary depending on the chapter- multiple choice, matching, and cross word puzzles, to name a few!

Another favorite feature of the study guide is the Learn More with Technology- this section gives a brief synopsis of a topic, location, a map, and more, from the book to look up online. There are a few longer assignments, and a few brief ones. Of course you can go as deep into a topic as your students want.

The book itself is a thick softcover with sturdy binding. Britfield and the Lost Crown- a new favorite mid grade novel

Because it is recommended for ages 8-9 and older, as we have read through Britfield & the Lost Crown, I have kept an eye out for any language or scenes that may not be appropriate for the younger ones. My husband or I read every night with the older 3 kids (who have the same bedtime), ages almost 5, 7, and 9. The story line of the novel has kept everyone’s attention and has been easy enough to follow. There are only a few words I’ve skipped over as a personal choice- when the evil owner’s of the orphanage used some name calling, such as brat, or stupid. These are very few and far between (honestly I could’ve read it as written, but the almost 5 year old tends to be very animated, repeating anything she sees or hears in her play). So I just skipped those words.

There is also one scene, when the children arrive at Oxford after escaping where I skipped- drunken students are described walking through the courtyard. It was 1-2 sentences that I chose not to read aloud. My almost 9 year old will POUR over this book when we are done reading it as a family, and I am fine with her reading it as written. Because our crowd is a group of mixed ages, I just chose to skip.

When asked about Britfield and the Lost Crown, my oldest daughter says,

“My favorite part is when all the children overrun the orphanage when Tom and Sarah escape. I really like how exciting the story is, and I cannot wait to get to the next part to see what happens!”

My 6 year old son says,

“I like how the bad guys are trying to capture Tom and Sarah! It makes it exciting and I never know what’s going to happen. My favorite character is Tom because he’s been helping make plans, and he steers the ballon across England!”

Britfield & the Lost Crown is now a favorite read in our home! We love books, but I have never had my kids ask to keep reading every. single. night, and begging to read it themselves.

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