We were SO privileged to be able to review two books from Kregel Publishing and use them as a part of our homeschooling! I have to be honest, I've been terrible about reading aloud to my boys. Usually they want (or at least my 2nd grader wants) a bedtime story. This is SO very difficult for me at night because I'm an early riser (4:05am) because my husband needs to go to work. So, by bedtime, I'm DONE! I've tried doing a read aloud during the day, but usually I'm yawning at every page because the book just isn't that interesting.
NOT SO with these books! Susan K. Marlow did such a wonderful job on Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top in the Circle C Stepping Stones Series that my 2nd grader (and I) wanted more! When I told my son that I was going to use these books as a read aloud to him, he was thrilled!
I hoped that he would be okay with the fact that the books' main character is a girl - but that didn't phase him one bit. Actually, he sort of connected with Andi in a few ways: 1) His name is Andrew. Her name is Andrea (but, they call her Andi for short). 2) His birthday is in May. Andi's family are celebrating her birthday in Andi Saddles Up at the beginning of the book, and guess what...her birthday is in May, as well! He thought that was so cool! She turned 9 in the book and he will be turning 8 this May.
Andi Saddles Up is about Andi, a 9 year old girl who lives on the Circle C Ranch with her brothers (Justin, Chad, and Mitch), her sister, and her mother. She has a horse named Taffy and she is hoping to get her very own saddle for her birthday. She meets Sadie, a girl around her age, and they instantly become friends! Chad runs the ranch, now that their father has died, and he is having trouble with the neighbor over property lines. Guess who the neighbor is? Needless to say, there are problems, but everything works out in the end.
In Andi Under the Big Top, the circus is in town! Andi's family goes to the circus where they meet a little boy named, Henry. At first, Andi is jealous of Henry thinking that the life of the circus must be a grand adventure, but then, she learns the truth out the life Henry lives. Andi's family and Henry end up helping each other in the end.
These books are a great find! They are an "easy read" at only 12 chapters each. Kregel Publishing also offers a FREE study guide to go with each of the books. What?! Yep, you read that right - a FREE study guide. They do all of the work for you! There is a schedule so you know what pages to read and what activities in the study to do each day. There are questions for each chapter, along with information pages, vocabulary help, poetry writing, recipes, mazes, and more! This is not your typical boring study guide. There's something for everyone in there!
Our 7 year old was asking if there are any other "Andi" books. In my book, that equals success! These books were a hit for our 2nd grade boy. We will be eagerly looking for others in this series!