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Abigail and the Big Start Over

Switch Schools. Make Friends. Fix All the Mess!

By Bethany McIlrath, illustrated by Katie Saunders
from 3 reviews

Fun, absorbing novel that helps kids aged 7+ to engage with the Bible as they learn that God’s grace never runs out.

Part of the Abigail series.

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To be released on June 1, 2024
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New house. New school. New problems!

Like many kids, adventurous and creative 9-year-old Abigail experiences lots of ups and downs when it comes to school life, making friends, and getting along with parents and siblings. Through both the humorous and serious challenges that arise, Abigail finds herself in one new mess after another. But as she learns all about how Jesus forgave Peter when he messed up again and again, she sees how Jesus can forgive her too.

Readers will explore the Bible alongside Abigail and learn that God’s love for us and his grace to us never run out. So we can start over again and again!

This fun, exciting novel for kids aged 7+ features short chapters with illustrations that really bring the story to life. It explains grace in a kid-friendly way that is relevant to their lives, and it provides a great way for kids to engage with the Bible.

This is the first book in a fictional series for readers aged 7 and up that follows the adventures of 9-year-old Abigail as she figures out what faith means for her everyday life. Young readers are inspired to read the Bible, talk to God, and apply what they believe to their own lives.

Includes book club kit with questions for discussion. Ideal for homeschool groups or book clubs.

Visit the Abigail series website for free downloads, worksheets from the book, games and more!

Product details


  • 1. Hurry Up, Headband
    2. Mrs. Hennig
    3. Don't Forget the Fishing Pole
    4. Brown, Slimy Sludge
    5. Uh Oh!
    6. Flora Flores
    7. Big Mouths
    8. A Very Good Friend
    9. Kids' Club
    10. Peter's Big Adventure
    11. Fisher of Men
    12. Nana and Grandpa's
    13. Sticky-Duct-Aids
    14. Walking on Water
    15. Greg Again
    16. We Need to Talk
    17. Adventure Central
    18. A Good Grace Story
    19. Fantastic Flora
    20. Not Such a Mess
    21. Adventuring
    22. Second Chances

    A Note from the Author

    Book Club Questions

Free extras


Age range: 7+
Contributors Bethany McIlrath, Katie Saunders
ISBN 9781784988982
Format Paperback
First published June 2024
Dimensions 5.1" x 7.8" x 0.7"
Weight 7.83 oz
Language English
Pages 208
Publisher The Good Book Company

Laura Wifler

Cofounder, Risen Motherhood

Bethany has created a delightful series that helps young readers connect their faith with their everyday life. Abigail’s adventures are fun and relatable, delivering valuable lessons for all kids and making this series a great one to add to your bookshelf.

Laura Wifler

Cofounder, Risen Motherhood

Bethany has created a delightful series that helps young readers connect their faith with their everyday life. Abigail’s adventures are fun and relatable, delivering valuable lessons for all kids and making this series a great one to add to your bookshelf.

Amanda Cleary Eastep

Author, Tree Street Kids series

Starting over is hard! But it’s a lesson nine-year-old Abigail is learning as she begins fourth grade at her new school. She’s also going to learn about grace—the kind we extend to others and the grace God offers his children. Fun, relatable, grounded in Scripture, and full of bold illustrations, Abigail and the Big Start Over by Bethany McIlrath is a story kids will love.

Customer reviews

May 20, 2024

“My Daughter Loved It”

What a blessing to hand my daughter a novel that I know will encourage her in godly character development. She enjoyed the story & characters. I'm glad to see there are more Abigail books, too!

May 16, 2024

“Grace Filled Book”

Review from my daughter, age 9:
Abigail & the big start over is a very good book. Abigail is very patient, for example when her brother mixed all her favorite colors together and poured them on the floor she was kind. She is a really awesome character- she loves adventure, reading, art, making new friends, and is really positive. I want to stand up for my friends like Abigail does. Plus the book isn’t too short and it isn’t too long. The book taught me a lot about grace and had a lot of information about the Bible. There are more books coming in the series, and I really want to read them. This is an excellent book.

Thoughts from mom:
With so many books to choose from I love the ease of handing my daughter a book from the Good Book Company. I can trust that it will be a reliable source of truth and light. Don’t forget to check out their website (at Adventure Central) for fun games & activity pages related to the Abigail series!

I provided this review in exchange for a free copy of the book.

May 15, 2024

“absolutely wonderful”

I was beyond excited to read this book alongside my 8 year old daughter. We are always on the look out for great, christian based books for older elementary and middle school kids. They seem to be far and few between compared to young children, teen, and adult. So I was happy to see this new series and had high expectations for it.

The book is a solid chapter book and geared towards upper elementary and middle school. It's structured with twenty-two chapters, each being a reasonable length.

The story revolves around the main character, Abigail, and her journey through fourth grade. Everything Abigail goes through is relatable to every fourth grader. She goes through real life struggles and emotions and decision making but all while learning to obey and follow the Spirit.

Both my child and I thoroughly enjoyed the book all the way through.

She also includes a book club section that allows readers to come together and discuss questions relating to Abigail's journey. I appreciate this option as it provides young readers to talk about their faith together and make it normal to discuss Jesus.

We are so excited for more books to come in this series!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Abigail and the Big Start Over | Bethany McIlrath, Katie Saunders |
$12.99 $11.04