Saturday, May 22, 2010

Review: Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure (Kregel)

This is my second title for review from Kregel Publications. You can read my first, which also includes some background on the company, here. This time around, I received a title from a series that I've heard about in the past, but had never read, Circle C Adventures by Susan K. Marlow.

There are six titles in the Circle C Adventures series, which tell the tales of Andrea Carter, a spunky tomboy who lives on a cattle ranch near Fresno, California in the 1880s. I received Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure for this review.

Whenever I read a book from a series out of order, I'm always concerned that I'll be a bit lost in the storyline. While Trouble with Treasure referenced some previous adventures from other titles, this title is pretty much a stand-alone story. Even so, the very first page includes a letter from the main character telling a bit about the character's family and what has happened in the other titles.

I immediately liked the character of Andrea, who goes by Andi, as she reminded me a bit of my own daughter. While Andi constantly falls into trouble at her cattle ranch in the 1800s - the spirited and adventurous tomboy reminded me quite a bit of my trouble-free, modern, suburbia young teen.

In this particular title, Andi and a visiting out-of-town friend, Jenny, start their adventures off in the jail after getting caught by the new deputy horseplaying in town. After their quick release, the pair is looking forward to putting their troubles behind with a trip into the mountains with Andi's brother, Mitch, and friend, Cory. Little did they know more troubles were awaiting them! I don't want to give the story away, but Andi has much more to worry about in the mountains than she did sitting in a jail cell for a couple of hours.

I would describe this as a light adventure story for tweens. It was wholesome, but not so much so that it doesn't include a good gun fight. I like that Andi certainly has faults, but is learning to deal with her quirks. She's a young girl that is growing into a young woman, but isn't quite ready for the leap. After her adventure in the mountains, Andi comes to realize that growing up might not be so bad after all.
Maybe growing up wasn't such a bad idea, after all. She like the idea of being considered a sensible young woman - even if she'd been scared half to death at the time.
I think my daughter, now 13, would have really liked this series around age 8 or 9. While she enjoyed the title, she tends to read more fantasy or science fiction with more complicated plots now. I also had my tween son, age 10, read the title. He read it rather quickly, so I know it was enjoyable enough, though not the typical type of book he would read. However, I think the Circle C Adventure series would be most appealing to young tween girls. While it is categorized as Christian fiction, it really is more just wholesome than overwhelmingly Christian. I think it would be enjoyable to non-Christian audiences as well.

You can read an excerpt of Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure to get a feel of the writing style. There is also a longer preview of another title in the series, Andrea Carter and the Family Secret, available here. Also of interest is the FREE 24-page Enrichment Guide for Trouble with Treasure. More excerpts, study guides, puzzles, and video clips are also available at the Circle C Adventures site. Readers will also enjoy following Andi on Andi's very own blog!

Overall, this is a great wholesome series, particularly for young girls. Each title retails for $7.99 and can be purchased from Kregel Publications. Be sure to visit the official TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read what other TOS Crew members thought.

Disclaimer: This review was provided as a result in my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew, a team of 100+ homeschooling parents. While the product was provided at no expense to me in order to provide this review, I have not received any other compensation. Furthermore, receipt of the product does not guarantee a positive review. I strive to give a balanced overview of each product, detailing my opinion of both pros and cons and how the product worked for my family. What works for one family may not work for another. I encourage you to read reviews of other Crew members and research sufficiently to determine if any product will be a benefit to your homeschool.

2 comments:

Susan Marlow said...

HI!
Just stopping by to thank you for taking the time to express such a thorough and encouraging review for TWT. I especially appreciate the plug for the free study guides. I homeschooled for 20 years and would have "killed" for study guides for the history-type books we were reading. I once created a unit study for the entire Zion Covenant for my 10th and 9th graders (in the days before all the great stuff folks have now!. Took all summer to do that.
Anyway, thanks again. I'm glad you enjoyed Andi's latest adventures.

Heidi said...

Susan,

Yes, those study guides were definitely worth mentioning. They certainly add a lot to the books and the price is right! What a great bonus for readers. Thanks for making them available.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!