Andi Saddles Up (Circle C Stepping Stones #1) by Susan K. MarlowAndi Carter has just turned nine--which means she and her palomino, Taffy, are old enough to be a real horse-and-rider pair at last! With a beautiful new saddle as a birthday present, Andi's sure she's ready to learn to trick ride like her friend Riley, even if her older brother Chad doesn't agree.
Riding to a secret spot her brother doesn't know about to practice, Andi finds a new friend to play with. But her fun friendship with Sadie is put to the test when they discover that their families are caught in a boundary dispute. Both Sadie's pa and Chad are stubborn as mules and each is convinced he's right. Can Andi and Sadie hang on to their friendship in the midst of this adult fight?
My thoughts: This series is "spot on" for readability for ages 7 to 10. It has lively action, good conversation, characters with which children can identify, excitement, frustration, joy, and adventure.
Young Andi is celebrating her ninth birthday and feels as though she has reached a stepping stone age where she can be allowed privileges to ride her own horse and have her own saddle. Her birthday excitement is interrupted by a blustering and rude neighbor who charges into their home disputing their property boundaries.
A well written story for young chapter book readers and charming pen drawings make this a delightful book to place in the hands of young girls. From the Christian publisher, Kregel, you can rely on it to be a good story, clean, spiritually uplifting.
Andi Under the Big Top (Circle C Stepping Stones #2) by Susan K. MarlowThe summer after Andi Carter turns nine the circus comes to town. She can't wait to get in line to see the elephants, acrobats, and--most of all--the champion bareback rider. What could be more thrilling than riding your very own horse under the big top?
When the Carters see the show, Andi meets Henry Jackson, a small boy selling concessions. Andi thinks his job must be perfect, hanging out with happy clowns, exotic animals, and excited visitors. But it's not all fun and games. Henry shares a secret with Andi: he ran away from home to join the circus--and now he's trapped. Andi wants to help him get free. But helping him may mean losing something very special to her.
My thoughts: The author, Susan K. Marlow, has in book #2 of the series provided a good early chapter book for boys and girls who love wholesome stories and a touch of adventure. The excitement of "the circus coming to town" that small towns experienced years ago is well presented with the young characters filled with the anticipation and joy of seeing the unusual animals, tents going up, and daring acts of circus performers.
This is truly a good series for young readers and one I can highly recommend.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies of both books from Kregel Publishing to facilitate reviews of my personal opinions which are freely given.