The story of Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Maker by Douglas Bond has a similar style to an out of print series that I enjoyed as a child from my Grandmother's bookshelf. Though it has a wholesome nostalgic feel, the setting is modern. Two children travel to a quaint English village and meet interesting characters including Mr. Pipes who they initially discover playing the pipe organ in a church. As he spends time with the brother and sister Mr. Pipes shares stories of hymn authors.
In our family we read this book together (I read it out loud to the children.) The 298 page book has very long chapters, but it kept my kids' attention. Though listed online as a book for 7th-10th graders the story seemed to be geared to young children. My only complaint is about some of the words. Though nothing lewd, the name calling was just rude. As I read the story out loud I edited out "stupid" and similar nuisances.
A friend shared this link to the Tallis Cannon on You-tube which is one of the first songs that the children in the story hear Mr. Pipes play. It leads to their discussion of the Doxology and Thomas Ken. One of the first hymns that my oldest daughter learned to play on her violin was the Doxology, so the discussion of that song in the story was an interesting one for it to begin with.
Other chapters focus on Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, William Williams, John Newton, William Cowper, Augustus Toplady and Thomas Kelly, Scottish hymn writers, Anglican hymn writers of the nineteenth century, women hymn writers, and John Bunyan. Maps and black and white drawings are included throughout the book. Additional British hymn writers are also listed along with their songs. This story is an interesting way to learn about British hymn writers.
This story is available as a download (currently $8.79) from Christian Liberty Press or as a print version. Christian Liberty Press has many other resources including their Nature Readers which all of my children have enjoyed reading.