I have to admit I wondered if these short stories would be enjoyable for us since we haven't read any of the other Circle C books. I'm glad to say that they were. The short stories are set on the Carter family ranch (Circle C) in the 1880s. The large family seems to have many adventures. Andrea Carter (Andi) is growing up on the large ranch with 3 older brothers and 1 older sister. She enjoys wearing overalls and riding her horse Taffy. The 11 stories cover many themes. Although the first story ended sadly, the other 10 contain so much excitement and humor.
Apple read the book first and she said,
"I like it because it had different stories. It felt very realistic because all of those stories could happen. I like that it was so real. I enjoyed that the book focused on a big family. It is great that their last name is Carter too! The historic prices are very interesting and helped me to figure out how money was back then. The historic facts about photography and calling cards was neat. I hope to read more books from this series soon."
I read the book when Apple finished it. I also appreciated some of the historical information in the book. Sneaky way to add some learning in there! The stories were very clean and wholesome which makes me interested in the other books for Apple as well. The main character Andi seems to find herself in trouble, usually on accident, quite often. I'm certain Apple was easily able to relate to her in that aspect. Finding books with a real life feel without cursing and romance can be difficult for the older elementary/ tween crowd. This book (and I feel confident the others in the series) meets those criteria.
We also received Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch Lapbook. This 39 page lapbook was an easy way to add extra fun and education into the reading of the book. There were activities for writing, coloring, cutting, pasting, answering questions, and more. Apple really went to work on this lapbook as soon as she finished reading all of the stories. The ones she commented on the most were the extra photography and calling card information pages and activities. I think the lapbook gave her more insight into the time period and the stories of the book. It felt like a great way to continue the educational aspect of reading the stories. I felt like it was a perfect summer activity. Since we are in summer mode, I let Apple work on the lapbook at her own pace.
The Circle C Adventures books are recommended for ages 9-14. Susan K. Marlow also wrote the Circle C Beginnings books for the younger crowd and a set called the Circle C Milestones books for the older girls. These books are fun and exciting and, as I mentioned before, very clean and wholesome. If you think your girl would like period fiction, I would highly recommend the Andi books. If you are studying California history, then this book will certainly add some fun reading into your studies. Theis book is perfect for pleasure reading but make a great addition to a homeschool schedule as well. The lapbook is an affordable addition to add more learning activities. A special preview of some of the stories is available on the Circle C Adventures webpage.
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