Monday, April 12, 2010

Andrea Carter and the Dangerous Decision

If you are looking for a spunky heroine, real-life conflicts and non-stop action, Andrea Carter and the Dangerous Decision, by Susan K. Marlow, is for you. Once I started reading Andrea Carter, I couldn't put it down. Andrea (Andi) is a spirited tomboy, living in California in 1880. She cringes at the thought of sitting inside in scratchy dresses when she could be outside playing ball or racing horses. When she and her friend Cory accidentally run down the new schoolmaster during an impromptu horse race, she knows it is going to be a long Fall. Fall gets even worse when the schoolmaster's model daughter, Virginia, takes a dislike to Andi as well. Andi can't do anything to please the schoolmaster, and Virginia uses deceit and trickery to get Andi into even more trouble.

Even though Andi is treated unfairly at school, Andi's mother expects her to follow Christ's example and respond with love and respect to both her teacher and his daughter. Although Andi has good intentions, she is unable to live up to her mother's expectations. . . until one day she faces the ultimate test. When Andi's brother, a well-known lawyer, is unable to gain an acquittal for a drifter accused of murder, the felon, Jed Hatton, escapes. He takes shelter in the schoolhouse, and decides to use Virginia as a hostage. Andi knows Virginia can't ride a horse and realizes she wouldn't survive on the trail, so she offers to take Virginia's place.

Andi and Jed ride hard and soon cross the Mexican border, but things take a turn for the worse when Andi tries to escape. Jed confesses to the murder, but then shoots at Andi, grazing her head. When she comes to, she is in her brother's arms, but has lost her memory. For three weeks she recovers, feeling like a stranger in her own home. Finally, her brothers catch Jed, and a confrontation with him brings Andi's memory back. Needless to say, Virginia and her father have a new appreciation for Andi, and she receives a hero's welcome when she returns to school.

What I Like: I love Andi. She is a fun, good-hearted girl, with an iron will. It is so nice to see Christian heroines who are strong-willed. Andi struggles with her temper and makes impulsive decisions, but she truly loves God and wants to please her mother. Although her strong will gets her in trouble, it also gives her the bravery and confidence to stand up for someone weaker than herself and do the right thing. I think this book will help lots of Christian girls realize being strong-willed doesn't have to be a bad thing.

I also like Andi's family. I always wanted big brothers, and Marlow did a great job showing us both great and annoying aspects of having big brothers. Andi's mother is caring and kind, but also demands the best from Andi. She provides a helpful example of administering loving consequences.

The book moves fast, with lots of action and surprising plot twists, up until the very end. This makes it impossible to put down. The action and the strong male characters (Andi's brothers and her friend Cory) would make this book appealing to boys as well as girls.

What I Dislike: Nothing

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: 8-12

Publisher Info: Kregel Publications, 2007; ISBN: 978-0-8254-3357-3; Paperback, $7.99

Buy it Now at for $5.99

OR Buy it at for $7.99.

Special Info: This is book two of five books in the Circle C Adventure series.

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