Friday, January 5, 2018

Circle C Stepping Stones {a Kregel Book Tour review}

I am so excited to review Andi Lassos Trouble and Andi to the Rescue by Susan K. Marlow.  These are the next two books in the Circle C Stepping Stones series.  Susan has written books about a delightful girl named Andi (or Andrea when she is older), and has four different series available.  Beginnings features a six-year-old Andi for ages 6-9, Adventures features a 12-year-old Andi for ages 9-14, and Andrea goes from age 14 to 18 in the Milestones series for ages 12 and up.

These books, in the Circle C Stepping Stones series, are books about Andi meant for 7-10 year olds. There are definitely more words than in the beginnings series, but there are still quite a few illustrations.  These are a pretty easy read for my daughter, who will be 12 next month, but she loves Andi and still thinks these books are great.  She told me that she thinks she and Andi would be really good friends.  I love that in a book character, I really do.  

The publisher's description of Andi Lassos Trouble:

"When the Circle C ranch decides to host a rodeo competition with two other ranches, dozens of cowboys are eager to prove they're the best riders and ropers in the valley. But they're not the only ones who want to show off their skills--Andi aims to lasso her way to the prizes, even if big brother Chad says the contest isn't for kids.

The roundup is meant to be a time for food, fun, and friendship. But before Andi can prove she's got what it takes to be a real cowgirl, the day turns dangerous. Will a friendly rodeo turn into a range war between ranchers and sheepherders? Can Andi and her family keep their neighbors--and themselves--safe?"

The publisher's description of Andi to the Rescue:

"This is so embarrassing. Andi's teacher, Miss Hall, is sick--and Mother is the substitute teacher. What will Andi's friends think?

But it turns out embarrassment is the last thing Andi needs to worry about when two outlaws kidnap Andi and her mother after school in a case of mistaken identity! They can't even tell the kidnappers a mistake has been made without putting themselves in even more danger.

Now they're being held in a remote cabin until Mother can teach the man in charge how to read--and he's willing to go to any length to make it happen. Andi must escape and find help. But can she lead a rescue party back to Mother before the outlaws take their new teacher--and disappear forever?"

Trina's review:  It was a really good book, I think the entire series is something that kids my age -- well, any age -- would really enjoy.  Andi is fun, and the interactions between her and her brothers are really good. I feel like I am learning something about life in this time period, which is some time in the late 1800s in California. (Mom's note -- Andi would have been born in 1868, so this series takes place towards the end of the 1870s.)

My take:  Andi is a delight.  She is mischievous, and certainly gets into her fair share of trouble, but she is endearing and generally repentant.  You know, a typical kid.  I like her, and I seriously love that these books grow with Trina.    I am wanting to purchase the Adventures books for Trina's birthday, and going over all of this again has me thinking that I have to do that.

The other really amazing thing is that if you visit the Circle C Adventures page, you can download some fantastic activity pages for each book.  These are a great way to learn a bit more as a school assignment, or even just to learn more in general.  If a child is reading these for fun, skipping some of the more school-like pages is a great idea.  That still leaves a number of really neat things to do or to learn about.  Some of the pages give more information about something that happened in the book.  For Andi Lassos Trouble, there is a page giving more background on what a roundup is, for instance, followed by a word game activity.  There is also a page about the first cowgirl, and an activity that has you comparing Andi to that first real cowgirl.

Some activities are a lot more hands-on.  For Andi to the Rescue, there is a section on schoolyard games that includes things like jump rope (including some chants), hopscotch, jacks, and red rover.  This book also has an activity that involves doing some mapwork for the country of Mexico.

For those who really want to get into this, there are also lapbooks available for purchase.  Which is something else I'm actually considering.

I cannot possibly say enough good things about these books. 

Disclaimer:  I received this book through Kregel Blog Tours.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.   

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