Book Review – Penny and the Stolen Chalice

Penny and the Stolen Chalice

Penny and the Stolen Chalice by Antony B. Kolenc


Antony Kolenc has an amazing gift of writing for middle-grade kids. From the moment I read the first book in his Harwood Mysteries series, I’ve been a fan. So, I was thrilled for a chance to check out his new contemporary story, Penny and the Stolen Chalice. And what a fabulous book it is!

The main character in this story doesn’t know much about faith but attends a Catholic school. This provides many opportunities to explain the Catholic faith. Many of the traditions, prayers, and parts of the Mass can seem a little strange and confusing to someone who has not grown up in the Church. Kolenc does such a wonderful job of highlighting and explaining these elements.

There were many enjoyable aspects to this story. As a mystery-lover, I always enjoy a good whodunnit. So, the storyline of the missing chalice lured me right in and kept me guessing until the end. This author is known for creating relatable characters and touching family situations, which he brings to this new book as well. Penny and the Stolen Chalice had me cheering on the main character, laughing at numerous situations, and even tearing up a time of two. Excellent job!


Penny is a new sixth grader at a Catholic school, but she isn’t Catholic. So when the chalice is stolen from the altar during a school Mass, she doesn’t really understand what the big deal is. When her friend Jayden is accused of the theft, Penny teams up with him to find the real thief and recover the chalice. But what will she do when she finds out the shocking truth at the end of the trail of clues?

Fast-paced and filled with mystery, Penny and the Stolen Chalice will keep middle-grade readers guessing to the very end. As she finds clues with Jayden and her other friends, Penny, along with the reader, gains a deeper understanding of the Mass and the chalice’s place in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

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Author: Leslea Wahl

Leslea Wahl is an award-winning author of Catholic teen adventurous mysteries. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her family. Leslea believes one way to encourage teens in their faith is through positive messages and Catholic values, embedded in great stories. She is excited to share her reviews of some incredible Catholic books, all of which have received the Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval. Find her online at