Join twins Mia and Maddie and their sidekick little sister, Lu Lu, as they travel the country finding adventure, mystery, and sometimes mischief along the way. Together with their famous mother, singer Gloria Glimmer, and their slightly wacky nanny Miss Twist, the sisters learn lessons about being good friends, telling the truth, and a whole lot more.
In A Dolphin Wish a three-night stop in the city of San Diego seems like it might be just the break the girls need—lovely weather and great sights to see. That is until they hear animal handlers at “Watery World” talking about the trouble they’ve been having keeping the animals in their habitats. Mia and her sisters cannot resist a challenge and they talk Miss Twist into another visit to the educational amusement park to search for clues as to what or who is helping the animals escape.
About the Author
Since her 2005 breakout RIAA Gold certified album Awaken, multi-Grammy nominated artist Natalie Grant has remained one of the top-selling Christian and Gospel artists with over 3 million in sales. The Gospel Music Association has named her the Female Vocalist of the Year five times, and she has had multiple songs and albums on the Billboard charts. More important than accolades, her passion is to help people across the globe discover their God-given calling and encourage them to live it out to the fullest potential. An outspoken advocate for victims of human trafficking, Grant cofounded Hope for Justice International a multinational organization that rescues and provides complete restorative care for victims of trafficking. Grant makes her home in Nashville, with her husband producer, and songwriter, Bernie Herms, and their three children: twins Grace and Bella and their youngest, Sadie. Follow Natalie at www.nataliegrant.com
Read an Excerpt
A Dolphin Wish
By Natalie Grant
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2016 Natalie Grant
All rights reserved.
Mia was first into the beach bungalow, her sisters right behind her. They'd flown from London to San Diego to relax for a couple days before Mom's next concert. In London, they'd stayed in the over-the-top, amazing Musician's Penthouse, because the tour organizers had a special connection with the hotel. Their resort in San Diego was a collection of bungalows along the beach. Even though this bungalow was half the size of the London suite, to Mia, it was even better. For one thing, it opened right up onto the beach.
"Come on!" Maddie slid open the screen door, kicked off her shoes, and ran out onto the sand.
"Wait up!" Lulu shouted, dropping her suitcase in the middle of the floor.
Mia thought about picking up her sisters' suitcases. In the end, she dropped hers on the pile and raced after them. Lulu was fast for a six-year-old — a good thing, because she always wanted to race and hated losing. Maddie was fast too, but she was more of a dancer than a runner. Mia charged into the waves just behind Lulu, kicking up salt water and splashing her sister's legs. Lulu shrieked and splashed back. Maddie stayed at the edge of the water, leaping out of reach of each breaking wave.
When people first met the Glimmer family, it took a while for them to realize Mia and Maddie were twins. Mia was three inches taller and usually three steps in front, trying things out to make way for her sister. Still, no matter how many differences they had — or maybe because of their differences — Maddie was Mia's best friend in the whole world. Most of the time, Mia felt as though she could read Maddie's mind. Right now, unfortunately, not so much.
A blast of cold water in the face brought Mia out of her thoughts. "Wha ...?" Lulu howled with laughter, darting away before Mia could splash her back.
"You better run!" Mia said, laughing as she wiped the salt water off her cheeks.
Mia and Lulu splashed up and down the beach, tossing handfuls of water at Maddie every time they passed by her. She'd jump back, most of the time staying well out of the way.
"Girls!" Miss Julia jogged across the sand, her floppy hat threatening to blow off any second. "Sunscreen!"
Miss Julia lathered sunscreen on the girls' necks and the tips of their ears. Twice during the operation, Miss Julia's hat blew off her head and skittered across the sand. Both times, the girls helped her chase it down before it blew out to sea.
"Good grief," Miss Julia said, coming back to rub the last white marks into Lulu's shoulders.
Finally free, Lulu flung her arms wide and fell back- ward into the soft sand. "Cover me up! Cover me up!"
Mia's knees sunk into the sunbaked sand. When she scooped up a handful, it felt like holding grains of sunlight in her hands. Deeper down, the sand was cooler. Handful after handful, Mia and Maddie piled sand on top of their little sister's legs. Lulu squirmed and giggled. Soon, all they could see were her toes, her shoulders, and her face.
Lulu grinned a smile that no one could resist and said, "Pack it down! Make it into a sand blanket."
"Who is this sand creature?" Mom asked.
Mia looked up to see Mom and Dad smiling down at them. "Grraumb!" Lulu growled, playing along.
"Watch out!" Dad said. "I think she might be dangerous." Miss Julia snapped a picture of Lulu, the sand creature.
"Are you starting a new travelogue?" Lulu asked. "Can I help?"
"Yes, and yes!" Miss Julia said, holding the picture out for Lulu to inspect. "I need a sand monster face." Lulu scrunched her nose and growled again.
Mom laughed and laced her fingers through Dad's as Miss Julia took a second picture. "Better," Lulu decided, after checking the picture out.
Mom and Dad went to try out the beach chairs, and Maddie poked the sand above Lulu's belly button. "Can you feel this?"
"Nope!" Lulu said.
"How about this?" Maddie asked, drumming a beat on Lulu's knees.
"Not that either!" Lulu crowed.
Mia sat back on her heels, part of the game but also on the fringes of it. She almost felt as though she were watching her sisters through binoculars. Or maybe it was only Maddie who seemed farther away than usual. Ever since Maddie had snuck out of their hotel in London and chased down a thief — a completely un-Maddie-like thing to do — Mia felt like the world had turned upside down. It was the strangest feeling, as though someone had swapped her sister for a stranger.
"My turn!" Maddie said, flopping onto her back on the sand.
Lulu wriggled free and started piling sand on Maddie. "Come on, Mia. Help me!"
Maddie kept moving, so it was hard to cover her up, but after a few attempts they managed it. As soon as Mia and Lulu started patting the sand down, Maddie burst free.
She caught Mia's eye. "Your turn?"
"Maybe later," Mia said.
"Are you sure, Mia?" Mom called. "Because if you girls are done, I want you to rinse off, and then we'll go find something for dinner."
"Yay, dinner!" Lulu said. "I'm starved."
"Me too," Dad said.
"Come on, girls," Miss Julia said. "I'll help you get dressed."CHAPTER 2
Just down the beach from the hotel was a restaurant, close enough that the Glimmer family could walk. Mia took off her flip-flops and pressed her toes into the still-warm sand. The sun hadn't set yet, but the heat of the day had cooled. The tide was coming in — with each wave, the beach seemed to shrink further and further still.
"Tiki torches!" Lulu said, pointing ahead.
Sure enough, flames atop tiki torches flickered, lighting the way to the restaurant. Mia wasn't sure of the exact definition of a cabana, but cabana was the word that came to mind. The restaurant had a sea grass roof, a tiled floor dusted with fine sand, and wide open walls to let in the sea breeze. The waitstaff wore Hawaiian shirts, and a musician playing a ukulele wandered from table to table. Mia slipped her feet back into her flip-flops as a woman walked over to the sand- strewn entrance to greet them.
"Welcome. Choose any table you like," she said, gesturing to the half-filled restaurant. "Mid-week tends to be quiet."
Dad chose a table close to the beach. Mia chose the seat closest to the sand. After she sat, she realized Lulu or Maddie might have wanted this chair. But Maddie and Lulu were deep in conversation, planning a sandcastle to build tomorrow, complete with three levels and a moat. They hardly noticed their seats as they sat down.
A waitress arrived at the table. "Water?" she asked.
"Please," Mom said, and the waitress poured glasses all around.
"I'll be back in a moment to take your orders."
"Let's see." Dad scanned the menu. "Tortilla soup, tacos, nachos, quesadillas ... Chips and salsa to start?"
"Oh, they have peach-mango salsa," Mom said.
"Delicious!" Lulu swung her arms wide, knocking directly into her water glass.
Water cascaded over the table, pooling around glasses and plates. Everyone pushed back in their seats, but Mia didn't move fast enough to keep her shorts dry.
Mom and Dad sopped up water with napkins and the waitress hurried over to help. The table was dry in no time at all, but Mia's shorts weren't quite so fortunate. She sat down, trying not to think about how miserable waiting for soggy shorts to dry would feel. Lulu's bottom lip trembled as she sat down again.
"It's okay, Lulu," Mia said. Lulu nodded, blinking hard.
"Pass me your glass, Mia," Dad said. He filled it up a little less than halfway. "Yours next, Lulu. You too, Maddie. Let's play some music."
He added water so each glass held a different amount. Dad tapped his spoon against the glasses, adding splashes of water until each played a distinct tone. Then he passed them around.
Mia's glass was the high note. Dad motioned for her to start, and taught the girls how to play a simple version of "Three Blind Mice" that used only three notes. They experimented until they managed to hit their spoons just right, so the glass rang out just in time. Soon, they were laughing and having fun again. Lulu had forgotten about the water. Even Mia had almost forgotten about her wet shorts. Also, it helped that the sea breeze had dried her off much faster than she'd expected.
"Can we practice our song for Mom's concert?" Lulu asked.
In London, Mia and Lulu had convinced Mom that they should sing at one of her upcoming concerts. She hadn't chosen which concert they'd present the song at yet, but she had promised that one day they'd sing. Maddie hadn't been thrilled about the idea to begin with, but she seemed to be coming around now.
"Maybe later, when we get home," Dad said. "We'll need more than three notes for that song."
"Everyone smile!" Miss Julia snapped a photo of the girls and their glasses. "And now, who wants to talk about rides at Captain Swashbuckler's Adventure Park?"
"I want to do a log ride. And see penguins. Oh, and cotton candy. I want some cotton candy," Lulu said.
"Do you think they'll have cotton candy at a water park?" Mia asked. "More like saltwater taffy, right?"
"We get cotton candy at the beach sometimes," Lulu said.
"True," Mia had to admit, especially after Maddie caught her eye.
Maddie seemed to have a sixth sense about what would cause a fight between Mia and Lulu. For now, Mia held her tongue. Disaster averted.
"Here's the map." Miss Julia tapped her phone. "On Barrel Buffoonery, you ride in barrels over rapids and down a waterfall ..."
"Down a waterfall?" Lulu asked. "Cool!"
"I don't know ..." Maddie said, sounding much more like her usual self. "That sounds dangerous."
"Oh, I'm sure you can count on all the rides being safe," Dad said.
"There's High Jinks on the High Seas," Miss Julia said. "Where you do battle with a pirate ship."
"What? Let me see that." Mia reached for the phone and scrolled through the pictures. "Looks like they teach you to sword fight and everything. The pirates try to take over your ship ... What's that called?"
"Commandeering," Dad said.
"Also, I have a surprise for you, girls," Mom said. "One of my friends knows a marine biologist who works at the park. Tomorrow, we have an appointment to go behind the scenes and meet some dolphins. We might even be able to feed them."
"Really?" Lulu's eyes went wide.
"What do dolphins eat?" Maddie asked.
"Fish, mostly," Dad said.
Maddie made a face, but Mia grabbed her arm. "Like in A Ring of Endless Light! Remember that book, Maddie? How Vicky and Adam went to the research center and worked with the dolphins and ... Oh! They could speak to the dolphins when they were in the water with them, speaking without even talking! We could swim with the dolphins, couldn't we, Mom? I mean, it wouldn't be that big of a deal, right, if we're already backstage. We can wear our swimsuits —"
Mom cut her off. "I don't think you can swim with the dolphins unless you're trained, sweetheart."
"But it's not like dolphins are dangerous or anything. Vicky did it and she wasn't trained ..."
Mom gave a wouldn't-that-be-nice kind of sideway smile. Mia wasn't about to let it go so easily, but clearly arguing now wouldn't get her anywhere. Maybe tomorrow, then. She could ask the biologist herself.
"So what other rides are there?" Lulu asked.
Mia handed back Miss Julia's phone, but she wasn't thinking about rides anymore. In the book, when Vicky swam with the dolphins, she didn't have to put her thoughts into words. The dolphins simply knew, and talking with them — or actually, thinking with them — was how Vicky made her world right again. It wasn't that Mia's world was wrong, exactly, but it wasn't right, either. Maddie was too far away, as though a door had closed between them. Mia couldn't exactly ask her to open it back up. Could she? Not in words. But the dolphins didn't need words. Maybe if she swam with them, she'd figure out how to speak without words too. Tomorrow. She'd find a way to make it happen.CHAPTER 3
Stars polka-dotted the velvet-black sky, brighter than usual because the moon was nowhere to be seen.
"Perfect stargazing weather!" Dad said as they walked back toward the bungalow.
Everyone bundled up with sweaters and blankets and went back onto the beach. Even though it was dark, Mia took off her shoes. The sand felt like liquid stone under her feet. She spread out her fingers to let darkness stream through her hands. Maddie and Lulu spread out their blankets next to the beach chairs, and Mia put hers next to theirs.
"There's the Big Dipper," Mia said, pointing it out.
"And there's the Little Dipper," Maddie said.
"What else do you see?" Dad asked.
The Glimmer family had a tradition of inventing star pictures. Dad insisted that the first people who named the constellations were just like anyone else. Who was to say the Glimmer girls couldn't invent new constellations, right here, right now?
"There it is!" Lulu said, pointing. "My starfish flower!"
The starfish flower was Lulu's favorite constellation. She'd invented it on a beach trip three or four years ago. Mia was pretty sure Lulu pointed out a new set of stars each time.
"I see a footprint," Maddie said. "It might be a clue."
"Oooh ... Like the footprint of someone who stole a star painting." Lulu launched into her Glimmer Girls to the Rescue theme song. "Maddie, when will we solve our next mystery?"
Good thing the night was dark, because Mia knew she'd made a face. It wasn't fair that Maddie had become the detective of the family. Maybe she'd solved the mystery in London, but she'd done it by breaking the rules. Her consequence for rule breaking had been no movie-watching on the flight to San Diego. To Mia, the consequence didn't seem big enough at all, especially since everyone was also treating Maddie like a hero.
"Let's admit, it wasn't a good thing for Maddie to sneak out," Mom said. "But I'm also so proud of Maddie for being brave and speaking up when she knew that something was wrong."
"But she SNUCK OUT!" Mia snapped.
As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she wanted to take them back. She could feel Mom's look even though she couldn't see her face in the dark. Mom had already spoken with Mia about letting Maddie's mistake go. Mia was trying — honestly, she was — but it wasn't easy.
"I see a dancing dolphin!" Maddie moved away from Mia, nudging over to Mom and Dad to draw the imaginary lines of the star picture in the sky.
Mia knew Maddie was intentionally changing the subject. Maddie didn't like it when Mia and Lulu fought, and she was even less willing to argue herself.
"Show me!" Lulu scooted over toward Maddie.
Mia sat up and hugged her knees close, resting her chin on her knees.
"Do you see any pictures, Mia?" Miss Julia brought her blanket over and sat down.
"You'll never see anything if you don't look up."
Mia could hear the smile in Miss Julia's voice.
"You know what I like best on nights like this — nights without the moon? It's dark enough to see the Milky Way. To me, the Milky Way looks like a stripe of star paint across the sky. It's beautiful because of all the tiny lights shining together. None of the lights are big enough to be spectacular on their own. Or at least not from our vantage point here on the earth."
"Star paint," Mia repeated, following the line of light in the sky. "Wouldn't it be fun to have a can of that?"
"What would you use it for?" Miss Julia asked.
"Oh, everything. My bedroom ceiling and the playroom ceiling, and of course I'd share it with Maddie and Lulu for their bedrooms. And maybe I'd paint a path of starlight from the back door out into the yard. Maybe I'd make a secret hideout. The paint would point the way so Maddie and Lulu and I could follow the path at night when it was dark enough to see. We could have sleepovers and read stories and drink hot cocoa."
"When I was younger, my dad and I built a club- house in the backyard," Miss Julia said. "Maybe when we get home, we could see about making one for you girls in the backyard. We wouldn't have the star paint, but we could have the rest of it — especially the hot cocoa."
Excerpted from A Dolphin Wish by Natalie Grant. Copyright © 2016 Natalie Grant. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you follow my reviews you already know that I had mixed feelings about the first book, London Art Chase. There was so much that I liked about the adorable sisters and their world travels. I liked all of the details about London and I appreciated the very apparent faith of the entire family. But there was that one little detail that just nagged at me. And truthfully even after the second book it still nags at me. Let me just insert here that I'm assuming that you're reading this review wanting to know details about the book and series. The rest of my review is going to contain spoilers but I'm writing this from one momma to another in order to give you a heads up. If you don't want to know . . . stop reading now! The little detail was that TEN-YEAR-OLD Maddie snuck out of her hotel BY HERSELF and wandered the streets of LONDON chasing after a thief. Everything turned out fine in the end but I was not thrilled with the situation and then the fact that the book ended without any consequences being addressed. Fast forward to book two, A Dolphin Wish. The family has left London and flown to San Diego for a few days of rest and then a concert. They are staying in a beach house and planning their outings for the coming days. Eventually (chapter 3) the wrong doing by Maddie comes up and we find out what her punishment was. Good thing the night was dark, because Mia knew she'd made a face. It wasn't fair that Maddie had become the detective of the family. Maybe she'd solved the mystery in London, but she'd done it by breaking the rules. Her consequence for rule breaking had been no movie-watching on the flight to San Diego. To Mia, the consequence didn't seem big enough at all, especially since everyone was also treating Maddie like a hero. "Let's admit, it wasn't a good thing for Maddie to sneak out," Mom said. "But I'm also so proud of Maddie for being brave and speaking up when she knew that something was wrong." (pg. 20) I'm going to restrain myself from expounding on my true feelings. Let's just say that my version would be a bit different. I think one of the reasons that this disturbs me so much is that Natalie Grant is one of the prominent voices in the end human trafficking movement. Ten-year-old little girls alone on the streets of London are prime targets. Okay on to the rest of the story. Again for the most part I liked it. The mystery was clever and fun to watch the girls work together to solve. I even want to go to Captain Swashbuckler's Adventure Park. I liked how the reader actually gets to learn some interesting facts about the sea life without it seeming like a lesson. My only other concern is less intense. The story contains a 13-year-old boy named Jackson. Jackson is allowed to wander around the park by himself day after day. His father is in management at the theme park so presumably it's thought that the workers kind of look out for him I guess. Truthfully without the previous situation with Maddie I might not have even been sensitive to this. But can I just say, whatever happened to the buddy system? Kids really shouldn't just be allowed to wander around by themselves. We no longer live in that world. So . . . would I recommend this book and series? Yes, but if I were the momma I would read the books for myself before I handed them off. Then I would use them as a springboard for some serious conversations with my kiddo. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Natalie Grants new series Glimmer Girls is fast becoming a hit among tweens. Twin Mia and Maddie, along with their younger sister Lulu, embark on some pretty exciting adventures. Their mother is a Christian music artist and as a perk, they get to travel along with her to lots of thrilling places. I got this book for my younger daughter who is eight. Although we did not read the first book in the series, we caught on to this one pretty quickly. Once you get familiar with the characters, it won't take long to figure it out. The parents are quite involved in their kids lives, along with a Nanny, Miss Julian, who travels along and helps care for them and takes lots of pictures. I noticed on various occasions she used opportunities to teach them some as well some valuable lessons. In the first book, one of the twins, Maddie, solves a mystery. In this book, Mia, the other twin, is still a bit upset about some circumstances surrounding the first book and her sister. Whether it is jealousy or a righteous anger is yet to be determined. But when a mystery of her own comes along, will she handle it better than her sister? Mia is a black and white, by-the-rules kind of girl and sometimes has a hard time understanding those gray areas of life. I wasn't sure how I would like this book after reading various reviews, but I think it is all a matter of perspective. So, with the understanding that my daughter realizes this book is fictional, just a fun story for girls written in a way that builds values and character; teaches obedience, values, while incorporating adventure and mystery, after reading it, I saw it as a fun book for her to read. One that will build values and encourage her to listen and obey her parents, and recognize there are consequences when you don't. (No matter what good reason you have behind it) The girls parents teach them about prayer, loving each other, kindness, and God. I think this is a great series for young girls to read. My daughter and I would like to read the first book in the series too! And we are looking forward to more. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.
Book two is also a fun and cute read! The girls are in sunny and beachy San Diego, California. The weather is lovely and there are so many sights to check out! They spend a day at Captain Swashbuckler’s Adventure Park when Mia overhears two animal handlers discussing about the trouble they’ve been having keeping all the animals in their homes. The girls are excited for a new challenge. They talk Miss Julia and their parents into another visit at the educational park so they can search for clues in order to figure out who is behind the animals that are escaping. This time it’s Mia’s story. She discovers a new mystery, but she wants to keep it to herself instead of sharing it with her sisters. Since Maddie figured out the last mystery, she wants to figure this one completely on her own so that she can prove that she can be adventurous as well. Except it turns into a competition with her sister instead. She confesses to her mother that she has been harboring unkind feelings towards her sister. She learns to give her worries over to God. This is a big theme throughout the book, although there are other little lessons as well. I love how the girls learn to give their worries over to God. Mia even tells her mom that it is really hard to do even though it sounds so simple. Even we adults struggle with that. I highly recommend this to anyone with a daughter between the ages 0f 8 and 12. You won’t have to worry about it talking about boys, crushes, or dating because those are not to be seen in the book. It’s all about mysteries, family, and their faith. The girls are strong believers who are fun, want to do big things, and have a huge heart for others. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Flyby Promotions for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
This is book two in the Glimmer girls series. It is a family where the mother is a Christian Singer who performs all over the world. The family, three sisters Maddie, Mia, and Lulu are clever and fun yet have normal sibling issues. This is a Christian series, but does not over emphasize it. There is a mention of praying, asking God for signals to show what he wants you to do as well as talking to him and wanting to do things for the right reasons. This time the family is in San Diego for another performance by their mother and her band, and there is another mystery that needs solving. After Maddie solved the mystery in the first book, Mia is a little jealous in this one. She really wants to solve the mystery at the sea world type theme park and has a bit of a one track mind during parts of the story. It was a fun story and kept me reading to see who was the culprit. The descriptions made me want to visit the theme park they went to, it sounded amazing and the rides seemed to be a lot of fun. A Dolphin Wish is the perfect next chapter in the Glimmer girls series. Overall this is a great read for young girls, a little adventure, a little mystery, a little family dramatics, some good Christian morals and learning a little about another country. A great addition to a local library and definitely in Christian Schools, churches etc. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
A Dolphin Wish by Natalie Grant is an absolutely wonderful book! My daughter is eight and couldn't put this book down. She loves animals so I knew she'd love this book. Mia, the little girl in the book also has two sisters just like my daughter so she definitely could relate to her. I love the story line in this book and love that it's all about a young girls adventure. I also love that there's a faith based lesson to be learned and that it's written by the famous Natalie Grant. A Dolphin Wish by Natalie Grant is an extremely fun book and I highly recommend it! Disclosure: I received product(s) for free, in exchange for my honest review. I only recommend products I've used personally, and believe will be good fit for consumers.
A DOLPHIN WISH is a very good book. In the first book, Maddie chased down the art thief so Mia was jealous and wants a mystery to prove she's equal to her sister but in the end she realizes they won't be the same all the time even if they are twins. So her relationship with her sister was restored. Very good book, recommended.