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Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top (Circle C Stepping Stones Series) Review by Renita Kuehner

Susan K. Marlow
Kregal Publications
(616) 451-4775 x218
2450 Oak Industrial Dr NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505

We recently had the opportunity to review the first two books in the Circle C Stepping Stones Series—this beginning chapter book series—Andi Saddles Up,book 1, and Andi Under the Big Top,book 2. Lydia was not disappointed.

In book 1—Andi Saddles Up ($7.99)—Andi has a new saddle, and she is ready to be a real horse-and-rider pair at last. She wants to learn a new trick. But her big brother said that she cannot do this. But she discovers a new friend, Sadie. But then Andi’s family begins to quarrel with Sadie’s family over a property-line dispute. Will Andi and Sadie be allowed to stay friends?

In book 2—Andi Under the Big Top ($7.99), it’s the summer after Andi turns 9. The circus has come to town. She can’t wait to see everything it will bring. She meets Henry Jackson, who works for the circus. She thinks he has the greatest job. But even though Henry wanted to run away to join the circus, now he is trapped. Can Andi help him get away even if it means losing something dear to her?

These two stories are the first of six in the Circle C Stepping Stone series. They have been written for roughly the 9-year crowd as early chapter books, so I’m suggesting 2nd/3rd grade and up to roughly 6th grade. Lydia is already reading later middle school, early high school level, but she loved stepping back in time with Andi in this series.

To go along with your purchase, Susan K. Marlow has created a study guide to go with her books. It’s easily downloaded from the site, and you can pick and choose what activities you would like to do with your student. The study guide really provides a classical educational approach to using this entire series. 

Inside the guide, you will find a sample reading schedule that you can follow, along with comprehension questions, vocabulary work, equestrian-related learning questions, language arts activities, a little map work, and even some anatomy. This easy-to-use guide is specifically matched to each book and helps you to bring the story more to life for your child. They can really dig deeper into what is happening in Andi’s life. So, from fishing, to saddling your horse, to the anatomy of a horse, you are covered as you read each day.

Susan K. Marlow has written another hit series. Not only with the actual stories, but also with the accompanying study guides. Caty and I will be starting this series next, as a read together. It is a bit advanced for her reading level, so I thought we would definitely read these together and then work on this wonderfully made study guide. It will give us a break from typical curriculum books and allow us to explore new topics with each other in a fun way.

-Product review by Renita Kuehner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017