Review: ANDI SADDLES UP (and) ANDI UNDER THE BIG TOP / Susan K. Marlow

Andi Saddles Up, / by Susan K. Marlow (Circle C Stepping Stones, 1)
Kregel     ISBN     9780825444302

Andi Under the Big Top, / by Susan K. Marlow (Circle C Stepping Stones, 2)
Kregel     ISBN     9780825444319
INT     Grades 3-5     Rating:     3

Prolific children’s author Susan Marlow kicks off a new historical fiction series set in the Wild West in the late 1800s.

In Andi Saddles Up, nine-year-old Andi Carter wants to learn to do a trick on her palomino Taffy, but her older brother Chad doesn’t want her to do it. She disobeys her brother and injures herself, preventing her from stop riding for a month. Andi meets a new friend, Sadie, and they are caught up in a boundary quarrel between Andi’s brother and Sadie’s father. Will their friendship endure despite the fight between their families?

In Andi Under the Big Top, the circus came to town and nine-year-old Andi can’t wait to see it, especially the bareback rider. She meets a young boy – Henry — selling concessions under the big top. When he tells her that he ran away from home to join the circus, she thinks he has the perfect life! But she learns his life with the circus is not as pleasant as she thinks. Problems develop when Andi wants to help him return home.

Marlow has written multiple series for girls: Circle C Beginnings (ages 6-9), Circle C Stepping Stones (ages 7-10), Circle C Adventures (ages 9-13), as well as a series for boys: Goldtown Adventures (ages 8-12). All of the Circle C series follow Andi Carter at different ages and are set in California in the 1880s. The faith element is light but present, and focus more on character than plot development.

Recommended for public and school libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer


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