LONDON ART CHASE
Faithgirlz/Glimmer Girls, Book 1
by Natalie Grant
Middle Grade Fiction
ages 8 - 12
Available January 26th!!!
In London Art Chase, the first title in the new Faithgirlz Glimmer Girls series, readers meet 10-year-old twins Mia and Maddie and their adorable little sister, LuLu. All the girls are smart, sassy, and unique in their own way, each with a special little something that adds to great family adventures.
There is pure excitement in the family as the group heads to London for the first time to watch mom, famous singer Gloria Glimmer, perform. But on a day trip to the National Gallery, Maddie witnesses what she believes to be an art theft and takes her sisters and their beloved and wacky nanny Miss Julia, on a wild and crazy adventure as they follow the supposed thief to his lair. Will the Glimmer Girls save the day? And will Maddie find what makes her shine?
The lovely cover and series title, Glimmer Girls, caught my attention on this one, since this is exactly something that would grab the attention of my youngest daughter. The fact that it's Christian fiction only sweetened the deal.
The three main characters are a bundle of joy. The older two are twins (giving them a special bond) and the youngest, Lulu, is boisterous and cute as a button. Their energy and vibrant personalities leap off the pages, displaying a fun loving attitude which is very contagious.
This is a feel good story through and through. Even when problems arise, they are approached with a more than healthy attitude. I appreciated this positive feeling and the warmth it displays. Some of the so-called problems, however, were a bit too quick to solve which puffed a bit of the possible mystery and excitement away. Still, the girl's never ending curiosity keeps the plot on its toes.
There's never a dull moment in this tale and the setting, London, is well done. Little tidbits, descriptions and explanations are peppered throughout the book, helping readers to discover a little bit more about London themselves. This information blends in masterfully with the rest of the story, making it feel natural and not forced.
The writing and dialogue are very natural, and the girls came across as regular girls should...and very happy ones at that. Despite all of the fun and lovely banter in the Glimmer family, it did seem to take awhile before a 'real' plot took hold. And even then, all the activities and sights tended to over-shadow it at times.
One of my favorite things about this book was the illustrations. Bonus points to those! They are scattered rather frequently through the chapters and are a real treat.
Summed up, this is a fun read. The Glimmer Girls are best friend material, and their messages are wholesome and easy for middle graders to relate to. The plot isn't clear-cut, but the girls are endearing and all the attention. I can't wait to see where this group of siblings goes from here.