New Circle C Book! Thick As Thieves #Review
Susan K. Marlow has a new series about horse-lover Andrea Carter! Circle C Milestones, set in 1880s California, follows the adventures of the young teen and her horse Taffy. As always, each title will be paired with a downloadable Study Guide, ready to print and use.
The first volume, Thick as Thieves, opens with Taffy about to foal. After the surprising discovery of rare twins – and their even-more-unusual successful birth, Andi is faced with the challenge of training not just one, but two foals. She struggles to provide the care they need while maintaining her grades at school, where she’s encountered yet another difficulty – an obnoxious new student becomes her seatmate.
Andi seeks advice from her family, but they’re distracted. Cattle rustlers are operating in their area, and stock is disappearing. Her sister recommends that she consider why the new girl, Macy, is behaving as she does; might she taking out her hurt and pain on other people? As Andi comes to know Macy better, she recognizes the truth of her sister’s words. Macy is in bad situation, and very unhappy.
Andi’s repeated advances are finally acknowledged, then accepted, by Macy, and as their friendship grows, it’s clear that Andi wants to help her new friend. What she doesn’t realize is that Macy is hiding a huge secret, and both girls – and both foals – will need rescued before the story concludes.
What’s The Study Guide For Thick As Thieves Like?
I was very pleasantly surprised at the study guide for Thick as Thieves. My horse-crazy daughter is 12, and this is just about perfect for her. Language arts materials are fairly evenly balanced between vocabulary, comprehension, and story analysis, plus some puzzle pages. There’s a heavy emphasis on horses and foaling (of course!) and even a short math-related worksheet that relates to the story. There are also multiple pages that discuss historical matters, and I was quite amused by the page about lice. (It relates to the book, and explains a topic that a lot of kids – and parents – hold a great deal of fear about.)
What Did We Think About Thick As Thieves?
When I asked Chey what she thought of the book, she looked at me like I was crazy, said, “It’s about horses,” and stopped, as if that was all I needed to know. To the uninitiated, that might make one assume that was all she got out of the book, was “Horses”, and that’s not at all the case. Instead, there’s a world of meaning there – it’s about horses, therefore, it was obviously a great book.
Seeking more details, I asked her to tell me about the book. She described the plot to me as “Taffy has foals. They get taken by cattle rustlers. Andi gets kidnapped without the napped part. Her brothers rescue her.”
Of course, I had to ask her to clarify the “kidnapped without the napped”. She said that it was like kidnapping, but “Andi went there on her own, and they just kept her… so they didn’t “nap” her”. (Why yes, she does deliberately invent/reinvent words on a regular basis… why do you ask?)
As for the whole friendship/brothers plot arc – that clearly didn’t make anywhere near the impression on her that HORSES did. I had to ask about it.
And then, she *really* surprised me – by telling me the book was sad! Sad how? I asked. Because the foals were taken?
No, because there was a boy early in the book who might be interested in Andi – but they mentioned it once or twice and then didn’t again, for the whole rest of the book. She’s 12, almost 13… and while she had no interest in a relationship for herself, she’s been observing quite a few relationships among her older teen siblings and cousins. So, that’s something she notices.
I told her I thought it was something that would be followed up in later books in the series. :)
Tell Me About Other Books By Susan K. Marlow
We’ve had the pleasure of reviewing other books by Ms. Marlow; including:
Links to all of Susan K. Marlow’s series for children are easily accessible from one page of her site. Two of the series also follow Andi Carter, Circle C Beginnings for ages 6-9 and Circle C Adventures for ages 9-14. A third series, Goldtown Adventures, features male protagonist Jem Coulter, and was crafted to appeal to boys ages 8-12.