Review:Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch

4379 cvr 5.inddAny good book is a treasure.  I try never to pass up the opportunity to review something fun.  Recently we had the opportunity review the new book, Tales from the Circle C Ranch by Susan K. Marlow from Circle C Adventures. We also received a downloadable copy of Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook to supplement the book. This book is intended for children in the middle grades, late elementary into middle school.

Both of my boys, ages 7 and 9 who are strong readers, enjoyed reading this book.  Each of them finished in one sitting of about 2 hours.  Tales from the Circle C Ranch is Christian fiction.  It is a collection of short stories from Andrea Carter’s childhood. She is the main character in the Circle C Ranch series of books.  This book is a lot of fun because it fills in a lot of the details that children might want to know about but were left out of the other books.  A lot of different questions are answered. 

Andrea, who is often called Andi, is a fun girl.  She’s the youngest in her family and as the baby she gets teased yet protected by her big brother’s and sisters.  Her dad dies when she is just a young child so her oldest brother fills in the fatherly roll.  Andi herself is full of crazy ideas and is always getting into some sort of dust-up.  The stories greatly appeal to children.

The book itself is your typical paperback with 160 pages.  There are 11 short stories all covering different points in Andrea Carter’s life. The stories are arranged by date. We have read some of the other Circle C Ranch stories before but that isn’t necessary to enjoy this book.  It is a very good read all on it’s own.  The first four books are from the The Early Years and represent the time period from the Circle C Beginnings book when Andrea was a young child.  The other seven stories The In-Between Years- come from the time of the Circle C Adventures books.  These are all new stories though and a lot of fun to read. 

tales_lapbook_cover_zpscsguvgpbWe also received the Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook as a pdf download.  For each story in the book there are usually two lapbook projects related to science, history, or even literature. This was a lot of fun and added so much to the learning.  It drew out discussion on how life was lived at the time, clothing, California history, Us History, ranching, and more.  

How We Used These

Well, I would have liked to have read the book along with my boys and discussed it story by story.  But they snatched it from the mail pile and had it read by bedtime the same day it arrived.  I read it after they did and then we did most of our discussion over the lapbook project.  We didn’t do every project.  I allowed them to choose which stories they wanted to work with.

So What Did We Think?

My boys loved the book and they enjoyed the lapbook.  My older son Noah has a huge love of anything western like, horse related, ranches, California Gold Rush, American History.  So this was totally up his alley.  My Ezra just loves to read anything he can get his hands on so of course he’d give this a go too.  The book is a nice read.  It’d work great a read aloud.  Many of the stories are short enough to read in a short sitting even with a few wiggly kids listening.  Though it is a children’s book the stories are so fun that any adult should enjoy sharing them too. The lapbook is fabulous and adds just so much to the reading experience. Lots of learning and ample opportunities for discussion.  A great literature study!

Dynamic Literacy Review

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  1. Thanks, Crystal, for taking the time to review and write about Andi’s newest adventures. It’s very satisfying to learn that boys enjoy the stories as much as girls. 🙂
    Have a great summer!

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