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The Chestertons and the Golden Key


Availability: In stock

The latest book written by Nancy Brown, The Chestertons and the Golden Key is not only a charming story with delightful illustrations by Anna Engelhart, it’s also a reminder to dream big and to love lavishly. Through the prism of a child’s viewpoint, we discover the wonderful world of G.K. Chesterton and consider the “keys” to unlocking our own imaginations. Described by Dale Ahlquist as “A book that bubbles with excitement, perfectly capturing the infections of joy coming face-to-face with the larger-than-life G.K. Chesterton”, this illustrated chapter book is perfect for ages 8-10 and highly recommended for both young readers and grown ups alike.

Summer holiday turns into an adventure for the three Nicholl sisters when Mr. Gilbert Chesterton and his wife come to town. Eleven-year-old Clare hopes to write a detective story. Eight-year old Cece wants to be a champion roller-skater. And ten-year-old Joan just wants to learn how to play the locked piano in the family living room. As they befriend the Chestertons, skating accidents, surprising friendships, puppet shows, and mystery solving ensue! This book is based on the real-life friendship of the great British writer and a trio of sisters. It opens up the wonder of G.K. Chesterton to a young audience.


Weight 0.74 lbs
Dimensions 5.7 × 0.3 × 8.3 in


Published Date



2 reviews for The Chestertons and the Golden Key

  1. Susan

    Nancy Brown’s latest book, The Chesterons and the Golden Key, is an engaging read for the beginning chapter book level reader. It also makes a great read-aloud. The vocabulary is challenging enough to incite some learning, but not so obscure as to frustrate young readers. The chapters are short, with lovely illustrations interspersed throughout. As a read aloud for bedtime, it should last for a week, with the kids begging for “just one more chapter,” so they can solve the mystery of the golden key.
    A family story, and based on a real relationship the Chestertons had with the Nicholls family, we find a young single parent family headed by a grieving widow who live in the seaside town of Lyme Regis. They have 6 girls and a boy, including Clare, an aspiring author who idolizes Chesterton and invites both GK and Frances to tea with the family, where they form a friendship which lasts a lifetime. Filled with happy anecdotes of a joyful childhood, we follow the Nicholls through preparations for a play, a roller skating accident, disagreements and reconciliation, and of course, a mystery involving a missing golden key.
    This story was charming and delightful, and I’m not ashamed to admit that, upon finding out it was based on a real relationship, I was moved to tears at the thought of the love that the Chestertons showed to the children of the Nicholls family. The interactions in this story give our children a good model for relationships and self sacrifice. I strongly recommend this story without reservation for readers from grade 3-5 and as a read aloud for the entire family.

  2. Victor M. Sweeney

    It is a nice mystery which captivated my young children, and didn’t bother them with too much conflict. It is a great introduction to Gilbert and Frances- and in that way, was just what I had hoped for.

    After having it read to him, my 5yo son now knows who Chesterton is: a jolly giant with the imagination of a child. My hope is that this small appreciation will grow with him and will lead him to Chesterton’s works in the years to come.

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