I have a mad love for books, especially books that are historical in nature. I really love books that are set in pioneer or earlier times. As part of TOS Review Crew, my daughter and I were blessed with the opportunity to review Thick as Thieves from Circle C Milestones, and written by Susan K. Marlow. This is the start of a new Christian Fiction series geared for children ages 12+. It’s 173 pages and 26 chapters long. We also received a download study guide, which is free, that accompanies the book.
In Thick as Thieves, set in 1882, we meet 14 year-old Andrea Carter, affectionately known as Andi. Andi has 2 older brothers, Chad and Justin, and an older sister, Melanie. Their father died 8 years before, in a roundup accident, leaving Justin to manage the affairs of the Circle C ranch. Andi keeps busy with ranch chores and loving her horse, Taffy. Taffy is due to foal any time, and in the Winter no less. When it’s time, Andi knows something is wrong, and her brother Chad helps her deliver Taffy’s twin foals, Sunny and Shasta! Andi’s sister Melanie had given her a journal, and she records her thoughts there, and keeps it stashed in the barn in Taffy’s stall.
Winter term is about to begin, and of course, Andi tries convincing her mother that she doesn’t need to go. She needs to help care for Taffy’s new foals. Her mother is adamant that she will earn her education and graduate when she’s 16, just like her other siblings. School brings about a whole new set of problems, however. A new student, Macy Walker, is in town. At age 13, most teen girls are expected to have some manners, but Macy seems to have none. She comes to school dirty and in coveralls, and has been raised by her older brothers. The school is filling up, so Macy becomes Andi’s seat mate. They eventually form a friendship, but that friendship may entail much more than Andi bargained for.
Soon, cattle rustlers move into town, and horses start disappearing, including Andi’s beloved foals. Soon, Macy and Andi disappear as well. Is the new kid in town a coincidence? Will the cattle rustlers be apprehended?
The accompanying study guide was also written by Susan K. Marlow, and is 40 pages long. Inside, you’ll find that the guide is broken down into six sections by the chapters in Thick as Thieves. There are lots of cool things like vocabulary, crossword puzzles, 1880s arithmetic, a foaling timeline, grammar, idioms, and lots more. The study guide is in-depth and easy to use, and it’s easy to make it work however you want. You could read the whole book and then go back and work the study guide, work the study guide down by chapter, or whatever works best for you. This would be perfect to use in a homeschool co-op setting! Andi even has her own blog…how cool is that?!
We enjoyed reading this book so much! It’s not really easy to find good Christian fiction that’s geared toward our teen readers. Rach and I each read the book on our own time, and it’s a pretty fast read as it’s not a very long book, which is another great feature for teen readers. I mean, it’s even good read for adults as well, so I recommend it to anyone who wants some good clean reading and loves historical fiction. A sequel to the book is due to be released later in 2015, titled Heartbreak Trail.
Be sure to read more reviews from my fellow Crew Mates! We all received the same book for this review.