Just A Bookworm…

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Marcus Cicero

Give us a good book to thoroughly enjoy and we are happy, give us two good books and we are ecstatic!  As part of the Homeschool Review Crew we were asked to review Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top, provided by Kregel Publications and written by Susan K. Marlow.  Journey with us into the 1800’s and follow a little girl named Andrea (Andi) Carter as she embarks on two exciting adventures throughout Circle C Stepping Stones new series.  Life is best lived when the imagination is engaged and you can escape into another time, place and world.  

-What joy our family had as we incorporated these two books into our daily 20 minute read aloud routine.  It was my 6 year-old who eagerly wanted to read these books continually, but she graciously planned for only one or two chapters each night.  What captured her attention and made her fall in love with Andi Carter was her love of horses.  As soon as she saw the horse on the front of Andi Saddles Up, she immediately thumbed through the pages looking for pictures that would help her learn who this little girl was.  

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-Andi Carter and her horse Taffy await an adventure all their own in Book #1.  With just turning nine, she feels she is old enough to ride Taffy all by herself.  Her older brother Chad isn’t so convinced she is able to handle the responsibility, but relents.  Chad then decides to show her his favorite spot under a certain patch of trees, which is where she discovers a new-found friend Sadie.  Andi and Sadie’s family start engaging in a dispute, but fate steps in with an accident to one of the girls, causing the families to rethink their anger.  

-There is so much action that happens in each chapter, it makes it really difficult to stop reading the book.  This happened to my 9 year-old who read the book in one day, because he just had to know the ending of the book.  

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-Book #2 is just as captivating as the first.  The circus comes to town creating such an excitement that everyone can not wait to see the elephants and acrobats.  Andi eventually meets one of the workers at the circus named Henry, but he has a secret yet to be revealed.  Andi feels compelled to help Henry, but if she does it might cost her something very dear to her heart.

-This was another exciting adventure that we were able to journey on and experience life from the perspective of the late 1800’s.  My daughter and I were quite sad when we finished the last chapter of the book, because we knew the journey with Andrea Carter was over.  Now we must wait in anticipation for the next book to be written.


Waiting For Our Read Aloud Time


-Both books have a complete study guide that coordinates with each chapter.  The study guides can be found on the Kregel Publications website, under the tabs Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top.  

Study Guide Activities Include:

Language Arts, Geography, History, Math & Science, Character & Bible, Crafts & Music


Some Of The Highlights

  • The vocabulary is presented with definitions at the beginning of the book
  • Each book is well written in the 1800’s time period
  • Andi faces moral dilemmas such as kindness, compassion, forgiveness, love
  • Historical overview at the end of the book to explain the time period
  • Easy to read, understand and comprehend 
  • The stories are captivating and heart warming


-My overall impression of the books was an enthusiastic one.  We really enjoy reading books that are part of a series and have a story line that is simple to follow.  My daughter gravitated to them right away, and my son engaged in reading the books himself after hearing a few chapters of our read aloud sessions.  I would highly recommend these books, knowing your family will enjoy them as much as my family has.

Thanks For Reading!


Connect With Kregel Publications

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Connect With Susan K. Marlow

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