Monday, September 14, 2015

Tales from the Circle C Ranch

Author Susan K. Marlow has done a clever thing: She's created three different series of books featuring the same heroine at different stages of life. In the Circle C Beginnings books, plucky, horse-loving Andrea Carter is just starting school, at age 6. In the Circle C Adventures books, Andrea is 12 years old. And in Circle C Milestones, Andrea is a teen. Therefore, as readers grow and mature, so does the heroine of Marlow's books. Since the Circle C Beginnings books have been a blessing in our house, I was excited when I learned Marlow had just released a book of short stories that tie together all the books in her three series. My daughter has not yet read the next level of books (those in the Circle C Adventures series), and this new book of short stories, Tales from the Circle C Ranch, seemed like a perfect way to ease into them.

In Tales from the Circle C Ranch, the author has combined a variety of stories from her three series. Perhaps they were chapters that were cut from her other books, or perhaps she just had shorter stories she wanted to tell about her young heroine affectionately known as Andi. Either way, readers will be delighted that Andrea continues to get into "fixes" in each story in this book - and learns a few lessons, too. As always, she loves her horses, struggles against early 1900s social norms, and has plenty of adventures.

What I Like: Andrea's character is one my children can easily relate to. She means well, but often gets into trouble. Marlow does a wonderful job of making readers love and relate to her heroine and some portions of the book are funny, while others are touching.

What I Dislike: If you've not read every book in Marlow's three different series starring Andrea Carter, you will occasionally feel left out. A few times, events are mentioned you'll know nothing about. However, my children and I didn't find this problematic - and it only made my daughter want to read more of Marlow's books. Also, while God and prayer are mentioned in this book, I wish the theme of faith played a stronger role. Nevertheless, this is a good read for fans of Andrea Carter.

Overall Rating: Very good.

Age Appeal: The publisher says 8 - 12, but I think kids as young as 6 will enjoy this book as a read aloud.

Publishing Info: Kregel, 2015; ISBN 978-0825443794; paperback, 160 pgs., $7.99

Buy at Amazon for $7.99; or buy the Kindle version for $6.15.

Or buy it from for  $6.29

1 comment:

Hannah Hall said...

Ooh, I'm excited about this. Thanks for the recommendation!