Abigail and the Big Start Over

Switch Schools. Make Friends. Fix All the Mess!

By Bethany McIlrath, illustrated by Katie Saunders

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

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To be released on 1 Jun 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 on 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 the Abigail series, 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 will be 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.

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 129mm x 198mm x 18mm
Weight 0.22 kg
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.

Caroline Saunders

Author, The Story of Water and The Story of Home

While plenty of books for kids this age have ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys,’ Bethany McIlrath has crafted real-world characters in real-life settings who exhibit both vice and virtue and desperately need God’s grace for a fresh start. Honestly, that was my favorite trait of this book—how all the characters demonstrate their need for grace, from Abigail to her new friend Flora, to their irritating classmate Greg, to Abigail’s mom. This engaging book will help kids honor others, seek to understand others, extend grace to others, and grow in grace themselves.

Abbey Wedgeworth

Author, Held

Delightful. Relatable. Entertaining. Accessible. True. Meeting Abigail in these pages felt like discovering a friend for the fifth-grade ‘new girl’ inside of me, who was desperately lonely and felt like she was blowing it at every turn. I am so eager to introduce Abigail and the Big Start Over to all of my elementary-aged friends so that they too can adventure with her, identify with her, and discover the incredibly beautiful and immensely applicable power of the gospel in their own very real lives, right alongside her. These stories about Abigail will doubtless impact the stories of their readers in a powerful way.

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