Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chime Travelers (Servant Books)

Lisa Hendey is a very talented woman, and someone I am honored to call a friend. In addition to running the amazing site CatholicMom, of which I am fortunate enough to be a contributor, she is also a prolific author. Her audience in these books is generally geared toward women and moms, but having read a few myself, even men can benefit from her words of wisdom. Recently, Lisa tried her hand at children's literature in a new series called Chime Travelers, available from Servant Books, and I am finally getting a chance to sit down and review them.

The Secret of the Shamrock is the first book in the Chime Travelers series. The protagonists in this story are the Brady twins - Patrick and Katie. Like any set of twins, they are unique in their own ways, but in spite of those differences, they have a special bond. While at the Baptism for their new adopted sibling, Patrick's frog jumps into the baptismal font. Not entirely because of this incident, but also because the parents feel their kids could stand to learn more about the Church, the mom volunteers the family for church cleaning duty on Saturdays, to the dismay of Patrick. One Saturday while cleaning, the church bells ring and Patrick is whisked off to another time and place, Ireland to be exact. During that time, he spends time with a shepherd who becomes a bishop (Spoiler Alert: It's St. Patrick), learns the importance of the shamrock, and gains a new appreciation for his faith.

The Sign of the Carved Cross is the second book in the Chime Travelers series. In this book, there is a new girl at school named Lily. Out of jealousy, the girls at school are mean to her, and this unfortunately includes Katie as well. This surprised me actually as it seems completely out of character from what we learned of Katie in the first book, but peer pressure and the struggle to fit in can affect us all. Like her brother Patrick, when she is in church and the bells ring, she is transported to a different time and place. On her journey, she meets the future St. Kateri Tekawitha. Kateri was a Native American who like Lily was persecuted by her peers. Spending time with her Katie learns about treating people as you would want to be treated, and is soon transported back to her own time. Her brother Patrick is the only one to realize what has happened to her, and for the time being it is their secret.

Overall, this was a fun and easy to read series for kids. The illustrations are cute and help add to the story instead of distract from it, and the story itself reminded me of the Gospel Time Trekkers, which is a huge plus. I am awaiting the next two books (The Whisper in the Ruins and The Mystery at Midnight) to come out in April. It will be interesting to see what other saints the children meet; if they finally have an adventure together; and if others (i.e., Lily or their family members) ever join them on an adventure. At under $6 a piece, these books are an affordable and captivating way to introduce your children to the saints!

These books were provided to me for free by Servant Books in exchange for honest reviews. If you found these reviews helpful, please click here and/or here and hit Yes!