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Andrea Carter and The Trouble with Treasure Lapbook with Study Guide Review by Donna Campos

By Nancy Fileccia and Paula Winget
A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks and Unit Studies

Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure is a chapter book written by Susan K. Marlow for readers between the upper elementary and middle school grades, and it is book five of the Circle C Adventure series. This fictional series, which is about the life of Andrea Carter in the 1880s, is published by Kregel and includes historically accurate references. This review is for the Lapbook with Study Guide that is designed to be used with the chapter book, which must be purchased separately. The Lapbook with Study Guide, created for children in grades 2-6, is available in several formats--a downloadable format for $7, a CD format for $11, a printed format for $15, and an assembled format for $30. This review is for the printed format, which comes in a thin plastic bag with sticky closure strip. Pre-folded lapbook file folders are also available for $1 each. Three file folders are necessary for this lapbook, but they do not have to be pre-folded or brightly colored. Standard manila file folders will work successfully. You will also need scissors, markers, pens, brass brad fasteners, a stapler, and glue to assemble the product.

Included are 48 pages of lapbook components, informational text pages, and instructions for assembling the lapbook. A "Things to Know" page explains the folding patterns for lapbooks, placement of the mini-booklets, and lapbook assembly choices. All necessary instructions are included. Several pages of diagrams are included to show how to make the three-folder lapbook, including detailed, color-coded diagrams specific to this particular lapbook. Photos of the lapbook when completed are also included, which is very helpful and motivational. A Works Cited page ends the included pages.

This lapbook covers topics ranging from logging camps to posses, packhorses to Annie Oakley, and much more. We thoroughly enjoyed additional information on the Washington Territory, The Fresno Expositor newspaper, the Sierra Nevada, the California Gold Rush, panning for gold, rattlesnakes, snakebite rescue, lye soap, green backs, and the mountain lion. The story of Annie Oakley was a wonderful enhancement to the story, as we had wanted more information about her after reading Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure. Our family loved the included historical information. And we also appreciated the vague time reference for the age of sequoia trees, rather than an old-earth time reference, the authors stayed safe with general terms. Occasional typos were noted. Space for a scripture to remind the users of where their strength comes from--God, is included as a wonderful activity. Our family loved the historical information, such as before the Civil War in 1861, gold and silver coins were used as payment. Paper money was originally printed on green paper, which earned them the name of "green backs." And as expected for many 11-year-old boys, we loved the informational page for the Mountain Lion and easily extended further study on this amazing animal. As in the rest of the lapbooks with study guides from A Journey Through Learning for The Circle C Adventure series, chapters are noted in the top right corner of the pages for reference. A great little pocket for holding the included recipes is a welcome part of the lapbook. And the booklet component with a rundown of the story problem, what Andi learned, and an explanation of the importance of family really helped us break down the story and better understand writing. Choosing various vocabulary words was also a really great activity. You may complete the components and build your lapbook as you read through the book, or all at once after completing the book. Both experienced lapbookers and first-timers will easily assemble the lapbook components with the excellent instructions provided. We have come to find great enjoyment and retention of the information by having our son read through the entire book, and then having him work through the assembly of it as we read aloud a second time.

The Circle C Adventure series is a wonderful tool for studying California, the 1880s, and biblical character development. Susan K. Marlow is a gifted writer, and her books draw "tweens" into the story with excitement, a guarded presentation of reality, and a solid biblical framework. Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure deals with death, crime, lies and honesty, the wilds of nature, the sin nature of the human condition, and real fear. Extending the knowledge into the subjects of history, science, language arts, and more makes this book and the entire series a great choice for families desiring to raise their children with good morals and values. A Journey Through Learning has definitely provided a product worthy to accompany this quality series for "tween" readers. With a variety of lapbook components, various product options at reasonable prices, and detailed instructions, this lapbook with study guide is incredible!

Product review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2010