I've mentioned before that Ballerina LOVES to read. As she's getting older, I'm constantly looking for quality books for her to read. It's hard to find books that are challenging enough for her reading ability but not containing content that is too old for her. I was excited for the opportunity to review Susan K. Marlow's newest book, Thick as Thieves. It's the first book in the Circle C Milestones series from Kregel Publications. This series follows the adventures of Andrea Carter as she goes through her teenage years on a cattle ranch in Fresno, California, in the 1880s.
Thick as Thieves is a 176-page paperback book with 26 chapters and is recommended for readers age 12 and up. There is also a downloadable study guide available. The study guide makes this a wonderful homeschooling resource; it contains vocabulary study, comprehension questions, writing character sketches, writing their own dime novel, and in-depth study of foaling.
As soon as the book arrived, I handed it to Ballerina, who immediately took it to her room to devour. Within 24 hours, she had finished the book and brought it back to me for me to read.
About the Book
The story's main character is Andrea (Andi) Carter, who helps her mother and brothers with their cattle ranch in California. In 1882, Andi is 13 years old and is very excited and anxious about the first foaling of her horse. When it turns out the horse is carrying twin foals, it almost ends in tragedy until one of Andi's older brothers steps in to help her out.
Training twin foals turns out to be the least of Andi's problems when a new girl, Macy Walker, starts school and is assigned the seat next to Andi. Her rough and crude behavior makes it difficult for anyone to like her, but, after much inner turmoil, Andi decides to befriend her anyway. What happens next kept me reading with much anticipation to find out how it would all end up.
Susan K. Marlow's writing captivates and draws the reader into the story. Her focus on godly principles of friendship is seen throughout the book as Andi uses Scripture and prayer to get through tough situations. One of the best things is that she integrates godly principles so naturally into her writing. I've read other Christian based fiction where it seems forced or cheesy. Neither of those adjectives could be used to describe Thick as Thieves.
"I liked this book. It made me feel part of the story. My favorite part was at the end when Andi makes a dramatic rescue. I can't wait to read the next book in this series."
Circle C Milestones is the third series of Susan K. Marlow's wholesome books for kids.
- Circle C Beginnings is about 6-year-old Andi and is recommended for ages 6-9.
- Circle C Adventures is about 12-year-old Andi and is recommended for ages 9-14.
- Circle C Milestones is about teenage Andi and is recommended for ages 12+.
The next book in the Circle C Milestones series is Heartbreak Trail and is scheduled to be released in July 2015.
You can find Susan K. Marlow and Circle C Milestones on social media: