London Art Chase

Thursday, January 28, 2016
Maybe Mia was the one who’d usually lead a charge, but Maddie wasn’t going to let this criminal get away. Not only had she been waiting all day to see “Sun-Splattered Afternoon,” but it was wrong to take a painting, something that had been made so long ago and which could never be replaced. Maddie made up her mind. Even if it was against the rules to run in a museum, this situation was obviously the exception. “He’s getting away!” she called to her sisters. Maddie sprinted for the stairs.

Book: London Art Chase (Faithgirlz / Glimmer Girls) by Natalie Grant, Zonderkidz, 2016

Genre: Realistic Fiction/Adventure
Target Audience: Girls 9-12
Subjects: Identity, Courage, Obedience, Sibling Relationships, Parent Relationship
Summary: A trip to London with Mom’s tour sounds great! A fancy hotel, a beautiful art museum, famous landmarks – what could be better? Well, six year old Lulu can think of something, but neither of her ten year old sisters agree, at least not until Maddie spies a man sneakily removing a painting from the wall of the museum and disappearing with it! Now Maddie is fully convinced of the value of solving a mystery! The trouble is that no one wants to take her seriously. The museum workers certainly don’t. And her twin doesn’t. And Miss Julia, her nanny doesn’t. Maddie knows what she saw and heard though. And she recognizes that maybe everyone’s doubts are ok – it gives Maddie a chance to prove her worth. Maybe she can figure out what her role as a Glimmer sister is this way.
Notes: London Art Chase is the first in the Glimmer Girls series – a series by music artist, Natalie Grant. She writes a story comparable to her own life – 3 daughters, the oldest two twins, a singer mom, a producer dad. The strength of the story is in the way the family lives out their faith, making it a party of everything they do. It shows young girls asking the kinds of questions girls do at that age and parents giving them the answers they need, directing them to the right source. In this first book, one of the ten year old twins is trying to figure out her role in the family. Their family motto is “Glimmer girls glitter and shine, but most of all be kind”. Maddie can’t figure out how she glitters or shines. She’s shy, non-confrontational and terrified of being on stage. When she fixates on solving a mystery everyone doubts exists, she finally finds the courage to take a stand on something and finds her place in the family. The spiritual emphasis elements in this book are everywhere. As mentioned above, the family is portrayed as a godly family trying to let their faith determine all of their actions. The mom reacts to situations in a normal mode, then forces herself to calm down and patiently listen to her daughter, imparting wisdom and understanding, intentionally guiding her daughter to what is right. For me personally, that’s where the highlight of the book is – in a couple conversations the mom has with Maddie, patiently listening, showing her that someone will take her seriously, and then teaching her to respond to fears and worries with prayer – turning them over to God to let Him deal with them. She uses Philippians 4:6-7 to show Maddie how to respond correctly to the situation.  The mom and the dad encourage the girls to pray about anything, just openly telling God what they are thinking and feeling. There is some discussion about God’s will – in kid terms of course. Maddie tries to convince herself that God wants her to stop the thief – herself, and that it’s ok to break her parents’ rules for it, then recognizes that it’s not true at all. She finally learns that God made her with her own way to “glimmer” and she doesn’t need to break rules to solve mysteries to do it. I highly recommend this book to young girls at the age of asking questions about their faith and their identity.  It does a great job showing realistic characters they could relate to while giving firm answers to the questions they have.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 John 2:5-6 – But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.


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