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Queen Abigail the Wise Paperback – November 15, 2015
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About the Author
Grace Brooks is a graphic artist, author and cartoonist living in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband and her lovely cat, Senator. She is the illustrator of "The Littlest Altar Boy" and author/illustrator of the Every Tuesday Girls Club series, which began in 2015 with "Queen Abigail the Wise." The second in the series, "Vanessa the Wonder-worker," came out in 2017, and Grace has plans for a third book in the series to be released in 2018. Fans can keep up-to-date with Grace's activities at the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/QueenAbigailtheWise/
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Abigail is 10 years old and, like many 10 year-olds, her mind wanders in church. During a service she sees a fly and makes up a poem, then a song about this fly. And then, without thinking, she sings it aloud. And she gets in trouble for that.
What comes of this is a group of girls who reluctantly form the Every Tuesday Evening Girl's Club. This group will help to solve people's problems. Four of the girls are active, if hesitant, but the fifth is a 12 year old who is above such nonsense.
Almost by accident they solve, one, then two problems, How do they do it? The third appears to be the most challenging - until a bigger problem arises.
Will the girls be able to maintain their new friendships in light of a serious problem?
This story is about an Eastern Orthodox family, and a lot of the action takes place in and around the church and the Lenten services. Some of the things talked about may seem a little strange (like the children going to confession with the priest and the seemingly endless services of Holy Week) but the story is really about the girls and their interaction and how they are guided by Christian faith. I think any one, Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic, even agnostic, could read it and understand what the story is about. I highly recommend it to all.
NOPE. I was a reviewer for the sequel to this book and loved it so much that I turned around and paid for this one, because I had to know what happened first. And keep in mind, I'm a grown woman!
My problem with many Christian books for kids is that the kids are sickeningly sweet and the families never argue. Maybe the kids steal an apple off the neighbor's tree or something. In Queen Abigail the Wise, the kids are REAL. Half of them bug each other, and they only hang out because they're stuck at church during parish council meetings (something that, as a priest's kid, was very realistic to me!). They fight and aren't sure how to make things better; they get bored sometimes during church and have to just try again next week; they want attention and freedom from responsibility, and despite all these sins that all of us struggle with--they're kind and loving and have little seeds of good like all of us, that they water and grow and that bear beautiful fruit.
The plot, in a nutshell, without spoilers: Abigail starts a club at church for the girls to help each other with their problems. It sounds altruistic, but her real goal is to figure out how to earn money to buy herself an icon of her patron saint. She and another girl, Vanessa, are constantly rubbing each other the wrong way, and Abigail has to mature and be able to put others first, to be able to even begin to help Vanessa.
If you’re an Orthodox Christian, the setting will feel very comfortable to you. If you’re not, you’ll still feel comfortable here; there’s a lot that’s new, but it’s presented in a way that makes it understandable and human. Either way, it makes me wish I was a 10-year-old girl discovering Abigail and friends. Can't wait for the next one, to find out what problems the Every Tuesday Girl's Club solves next!