Title: Circle C Beginnings Series
Author: Susan K. Marlow
Major Themes: Horses, School, Christmas
Synopsis: When Andi Carter starts school, she has a hard time learning to follow the rules.
When I ran across a mention of Susan Marlow’s books recently, in a thread on a Facebook group, I was intrigued. Here were several series of books I had never heard of before that sounded interesting. Then, I saw one of them offered for sale on another Facebook group, so I decided to get it to see what the series was like, and then we were able to get hold of several others to check out for this website.
Andi’s Pony Trouble, book 1. Andrea, or Andi, as she is usually called, thought she should have a horse of her own, not just the pony that had been handed down by her older brothers and sisters. She was sure that if her father was still alive he would agree with her. Mother didn’t agree, however; she told Andi that a five-year-old who couldn’t take care of her pony properly was not old enough to have a horse. Andy begged the cook’s helper to let her ride his horse, but then she found herself in even more trouble. How will she get out of it? I enjoyed some of the humor along the way, like the shower of eggs. There are some very realistic parts to this story!
Andi’s Indian Summer, book 2. Andi wants to play with her very old foal, Taffy, but her friend Riley insists on showing her a secret. One of the cowboys gave him a dime novel! He reads some of the forbidden book to Andi, and she ends up scared of being captured by Indians. When the two children take their ponies to the creek to play one day, and Indians suddenly appear, she is terrified. What will happen now?
Andi’s Scary School Days, book 4. Andi must start school now. That means she has to dress in nice clothes and go away from home every day. She is terrified, but has no choice. During her first two days, she finds herself in one form of trouble after another, but when she learns the rules and that she must obey them, she also learns that her teacher is really a nice person after all.
Andi’s Circle C Christmas, book 6. Christmas is coming! In between finding food for her lizard and playing with her friend Riley, Andi works on her Christmas wish list. She wants things like a knife and a lasso—no girly things for her! And then, her worst nightmare comes true. Aunt Rebecca shows up on the doorstep to spend Christmas with the family—and she is determined to make tomboy Andi into a lady. Will they ever learn to understand each other and get along?
I have not read Andi’s Fair Surprise (book 3) or Andi’s Lonely Little Foal (book 5).
Any young girl who loves horses will love Andi. The Circle C Beginnings series is good for children who are ready for easy chapter books. It is clean and well-written, with some good lessons learned. Mother tries to help Andi learn to obey, and to teach the older children not to tease. Andi learns to pray when she is in trouble, and God answers her. I did feel, however, that the storyline is rather stilted, and it wouldn’t appeal to children much older than about eight. I also wonder about the historical accuracy; it is set in the Wild West of the late 1800s, according to the back cover, but the main character, a girl, wears overalls! Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I thought that girls (and even young boys) wore dresses at that time.
Listening Level—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 5 – 6, 7 – 9
Other links to buy these books:
I have not read two of the books in this series, but believe they would be at the same standard as the others. If you wish to buy them, here are the links: