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!
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. Though it does mention consequences for her actions, they do not come to fruition, and honestly, appears to make light of it with the rest of their vacation fun. It's nit-picky, perhaps, but I would prefer my child to see consequences to such dangerous ideas/actions. In today's world, most young girls would not be so lucky to find a nice man who helps her back to her family.
Overall, this is a great start to what looks like a great young girl Christian fiction series! My only suggestion would be to read it first or read it along with your daughter, so you can use it as a light "teaching" opportunity when needed.