A few years ago at a homeschool convention my daughter was drawn to Susan K. Marlow’s booth. That was our first introduction to Susan K. Marlow’s books and it truly captured my children's heart and imgination. I was even more excited when she came out with a series for boys. This is truly Christian fiction at its best.
When I saw that the TOS Crew had a chance to review Kregel Publications newest book by Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Milestones -Thick as Thieves ($9.99) I knew it would be an instant hit in my family. With the book we also received a Downloadable Study Guide.
Thick as Thieves is a new series in the Circle C Milestones. This book is a paperback book with 173 pages and 26 Chapters. This series is for ages 12 and up.
The levels before the Circle C Milestones are:
Circle C Beginnings for ages 6-9
Circle C Adventures for ages 9-14
Circle C Milestones for ages 12+
Goldtown Adventure for boys 8-12
You can read an excerpt of the book here.
About the Story:
This story takes place in 1882 in the San Joaquin Valley, California.
The main character in this book is Andrea Carter. Andrea nicknamed Andi is now 14 years old. Andi’s family owns a working cattle ranch. She is passionate about her palomino horse, “Taffy”. Taffy is getting ready to have her first foal. She is getting worried about Taffy’s strange behavior and knows that something isn't right with Taffy.
Andi is also not happy that school is about to begin again and she won’t be around for the time needed to train Taffy’s first foals. Surprisingly, Taffy’s birth is even a bigger surprise when Taffy gives birth to not one but two foals. With the birth of Shasta and Sunny Andi would rather be home than returning to school.
School brings a whole new set of problems and not just for Andi but the rest of the school. A new student, Macy Walker and she is the rudest, roughest, and meanest girl that has crossed their paths. Macy gets assigned to sit next to Andi. Andi tries to befriend this wild girl. Andi realizes that she needs to have her trust pretty quickly.
Cattle rustlers have moved into the San Joaquin Valley. Not only are cattle being taken but horses and Andi’s precious foals disappear. Andi finds that the only clue may be Macy and her growing friendship may be more dangerous than anticipated.
If you haven’t read any of Susan Marlow’s books then you are missing out on a gem. Even if you haven’t read any of the other books this is a stand-alone book. The only hard part is that you will miss Andi growing up in the other series. You will want to go back and get reacquainted.
Andi is always getting way over her head and seems to have a knack of finding trouble. With her tight knit family and her faith in God it is truly a delightful read with good Christian values.
The Downloadable Study Guide is free. The Study Guide is 40 pages and has many different aspects of it to enhance the book. Some things that are covered in the Study Guide are: vocabulary, multiply choice questions, grammar, crossword puzzles, foaling, history, and much more. An answer key is located in the back along with other suggested ideas. This definitely takes the book to a more in-debt learning experience.
How did I use Thick as Thieves in my homeschool?
I read Thick as Thieves as a read out loud to my 12 years old daughter and my 9 year old son.
Thick as Thieves was a huge hit which, I never doubted it wouldn’t be as my kids have read all the books from Susan K. Marlow. Both of my kids are horse crazy and really were intrigued from the first to last page. The hardest part for me is not reading ahead of my children. I enjoyed the story as much as they did.
After each Chapter we did the Downloadable Study Guide. The majority of it I did orally. My 12 year old has some learning challenges and this is what made it fit her learning style. My son did want to do some of the activities by himself. Afterwards, I went over it with my daughter.
My family looks forward to the next book in the Circle C Milestones, Heartbreak Trail.