Series: Faithgirlz / Glimmer Girls
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (January 26, 2016)
Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #47,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #37 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Education > Home Schooling #127 in Books > Education & Teaching > Schools & Teaching > Homeschooling #159 in Books > Children's Books > Literature & Fiction > Religious Fiction > Christian
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
This highly anticipated series is finally here! I am a fan of Natalie Grant and I have been excited to read her new children's series in hopes of sharing it with my grand girls. After reading this first installment I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about it. Most of the book I really liked but there is a part that I did not like at all.Let me start by telling you what I liked. The three sisters Maddie, Mia, and Lulu are clever and fun yet come across as true siblings (can you say sibling rivalry?). Maddie and Mia are 10-year-old twins. Mia is very outgoing and loves to perform. Maddie is more of an introvert and loves art. Lulu is six and she's a handful.The family is on a business trip to London where the momma, Gloria Glimmer, is scheduled to do several concerts. While the parents are busy with rehearsals and concerts the girls and their nanny take in the sights of London. I enjoyed the way that facts about the sights were slipped into the dialogue. What a fun way for your girls to learn a little while they are being entertained with a good story.All in all this is a good read that is sure to keep your daughter's attention. But I would be remiss if I didn't say what disturbed me about the story. I'm about to provide a bit of a spoiler but I am assuming that the parents are reading this review so it shouldn't matter in the scheme of things.Without giving too many details about the story there is a point in the book where Maddie sneaks out of the hotel by herself and seeks out the art thief. She is a 10-year-old little girl wandering the streets of London. She does eventually meet up with a presumably safe man that helps her.
Overall, these were cute books for young girls who like mysteries. They might read a bit young for the upper end of the target age range—my favorite 7th grader would be impatient with them.These books have two goals—entertainment and encouragement to Christian girls. They do well on both fronts. The family dynamic is good, with solid parents who obviously love their children, and sisters with a strong bond.While the publishers’ blurbs describe the nanny, Miss Julia, as “wacky,” I really didn’t see that. She is responsible and solid, while still being fun. If fun=wacky, then I guess she’s wacky.My biggest objection is that the girls, despite REPEATED admonitions from every grownup, keep running off. And in a huge metropolis like London, that’s a big scary problem. I’ve hoofed it around London alone—in my 30s—and it’s not for the faint of heart. I can’t imagine even a daredevil 10-year-old doing that. It’s a typical trope in kids’ mysteries like these.And these are Christian girls who want to be obedient and do the right thing—and then they defy the adults. It just doesn’t mesh for me. As a parent, this is the part of the books that I really disliked. Just as much as I dislike stories in which the adults never listen to the children, I dislike stories in which the children keep thinking they are the ONLY people around who can take care of the [whatever the Maguffin is].My eight-year-old wasn’t able to finish the stories and find out how the mysteries resolved, because the disobedience and breaking of rules just made her too anxious to continue.Possible Objectionable Material:Children disobeying and running off. (Obviously.
Faithgirlz: London Art Chase is the first book of the Glimmer Girls series published by Zonderkidz, written by award-winning artist Natalie Grant, and features beautiful (black and white) illustrations by Cathi Mingus. This series is the Nancy Drew of juvenile Christian fiction! It is written for girls ages 8-12, and is well-suited for the range in subject, appropriateness, and age/stage-based experiences.The main characters are the Glimmer family--10 year old twin sisters (Mia & Maddie), their 6 year old sister (Lulu), their famous, world-traveling record artist mom, involved/interactive dad, & their well-loved nanny (Miss Julia Twist), whom the girls keep on her toes all the time!In this book, the Glimmer Girls get to fly to London to attend their mom's concert. Along the way, they get to see many of the London sites (I love how tidbits of history/facts are weaved within the story). While there, Maddie sees someone steal a piece of art from the museum. When no one believes her, she begins her first Glimmer Girls mystery detective job to figure out what happened.Pros for the book:-It's well-written and quickly draws you into the story.-It's a mystery. (Who doesn't love those?!)-It's easy to relate to. (The siblings have normal squabbles, etc)-It incorpororates Christian values and teachings, but doesn't come across as "preachy".-It's an easy but fun, exciting storyline for young tween girls!Cons:Honestly, my only real complaint in this book is (**spoiler alert**) that when no one believes Maddie about the art thief, she takes matters into her own hands and goes out alone in London to do her detective work.
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