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The Chestertons and the Golden Key Paperback – March 1, 2016
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About the Author
Nancy Carpentier Brown is a Chestertonian writer with a goal to make G.K. Chesterton more accessible to young people and families. She's written the world's only full-length biography of G.K. Chesterton's beloved wife Frances. During her research on Frances Chesterton, Nancy discovered the Nicholl family. It is that family who figures prominently in this story.
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Top customer reviews
A widowed mother and her three daughters befriend the childless GK and his wife Frances when the Chesterton's are visiting Lyme Regis. The oldest daughter, Clare (11) wants to write mysteries like the Fr. Brown series of GKC (who she idolizes) but doesn't know how to start while the 9 year-old sister wants to play piano and the youngest, CeCe (8) wants to buy the roller skates that the annoying neighbor boys have gotten. The Chestertons, who in real life loved children and, by all accounts, had a great rapport with youngsters, join in the family fun ... encouraging, comforting and generally being just the medicine this family needs.
A wonderful story ... filled with love and hope and family. Highly recommend this one.
Oh, and if you homeschool, this book will start you thinking about all the rabbit trails you could do with this book - geography of England (and where Lyme Regis is in relation to London and GKC's home, Beaconsfield); writing a mystery using GKC's advice to Clare; writing a play; building a puppet theater and making puppets ... the list goes on and on. How I wish Brown had written this 5 years ago when mine were still homeschooled!
The kids all agreed that this story was more believable than other child-centered mysteries they have read (like The Boxcar Children series). Of course that makes sense, since this is based on a real family who met the Chestertons.
Four of my kids read this book. Here are their impressions:
9yo: I liked this book because I like mysteries. My favorite character was Clare, but I think it would be fun to have a dog like Pepper. Putting on a puppet play with the Chestertons sounded like fun.
11yo: Clare was my favorite, too! I knew what she was talking about because I've read The Blue Cross*, and I know who the Chestertons were so that made it more interesting. I thought it was funny that Mr. Chesterton was compared to a jolly, fat elephant. It was exciting when Cece and Will had to cooperate to get to the train station.
13yo: It was hard to put down so I read it all at once. I didn't stop to think about figuring it out, I just enjoyed the story. Pepper the dog was my favorite character, but it was interesting to learn something new about Mr. Chesterton and his dangerous writing methods!
17yo: I know a lot about GK Chesterton already, so the story didn't really surprise me. I also figured out the mystery right away, but it was fun to read and I can see why the younger kids liked it.
*From Nancy Brown's The Father Brown Reader: Stories from Chesterton.