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Families Again
Friday, 6 May 2011
Andi's Fair Surprise - Joshua's First Chapter Book!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


Last year I (actually John Allen Laughing) had the great privilege of reviewing a book from Susan Marlow's Andrea Carter Series. The Trouble With Treasure was a joy to read and I (actually John Allen Laughing) heartily recommended it to "young readers and old readers alike". 

The Andrea Carter Series is geared toward children ages 9-14. I was quite pleased to find out that Susan Marlow has begun a series for kids aged 6-8 called the "Circle C Beginnings" Series. It also features Andrea Carter but in this series "Andi" is just 6 years old and her horse "Taffy" is just a baby.

This time around I had my middle child, Joshua, read the book that we received - "Andi's Fair Surprise". I have wanted for a long time for Joshua to do more independent reading. This beginning chapter book seemed like the excellent place to start. Joshua had never read a chapter book before, so it was a challenge to get him started. After I assured him that I would only have him read a chapter a day, and that the chapters were actually shorter than most of the stories that he was reading, he reluctantly picked the book up to start reading.

He wasn't reluctant for long, however! The very first day he was asking me if he could read a little of the next chapter because he wanted to see what happened next. I was thrilled. Within only a few days he had read through the entire book! He loved it and I loved seeing him love it.


In Andi's Fair Surprise, Andi and her family are going to take a train trip to the California State Fair. Everyone seems to be planning on winning a prize. Andi desperately wants to win a prize too, but how can a little six year old girl win something at a large state fair? You'll have to buy the book to find out!

Now, after John Allen read the book from the older series, I had him write a short review and I included it in my big review. Joshua isn't quite at the stage where he can write a review, but I asked him what he thought about the book and here are some of the things that he said:

"It was really exciting."

"I liked the part where Andi won ..." (I'm not going to spoil the story Laughing).

"Dad, can we buy the rest of the series?"

As you can see, he was really impressed with this book. I was impressed as well. Just like the older series, this book is filled with adventure, surprises and twists. It's also filled with heart warming life lessons that Andi learns and in turn the reader learns.

Okay, I'm going to admit one of my faults. As full time missionaries with an active family, we are often on the road. Many times I will just throw a couple of homeschool books for the kids to read or work on while we travel. After all, that's one of the many beauties of homeschooling. Well, it seems that in our hustle and bustle I lost the letter that came with this book. I remember getting the letter. I even remember reading the letter. I just don't remember what was in the letter! It seems that it had links to some "extras" that we could use while reading this book. I didn't find out about the extras until just within the past couple of weeks - thankfully, not long after Joshua finished the book.

When I began looking at the extras I was thrilled and so was Joshua. Susan Marlow has created some great activities, coloring pages, puzzles, even lap-books for each one of the Circle C Beginnings Series. Many of them are free! I printed out the activity pages and the coloring pages and gave them to Joshua. He has had a blast coloring the pictures, and the author has done a great job at making the activity sheets exciting and fun, but educational as well. She has tucked in vocabulary, spelling, geography and even math in the activity packet. The online puzzles are a lot of fun as well. We haven't tried the inexpensive lap-books yet, but they could very well be included with my purchase of the books that they go along with.


This book is published by Kregel. I've now had the pleasure of reviewing three books from this company and have not been disappointed at all. Kregel is dedicated to publishing good, wholesome, family books. I have never found anything objectionable in anything that I have read from them.

The books in the Circle C Beginnings Series are only $4.99 each, however Kregel is offering a 30% discount from now until August 31. To find our more about these books and the discount just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. There are presently four in the series with two more coming out at the beginning of August. The special activity pages and puzzles are on a special Andi and Taffy website and you can find them by clicking here. Finally, different TOS Crew members reviewed different books from the Circle C Beginnings Series and you can find what they had to say by clicking here.

These books would be great for summer reading or for any free time reading. You won't be disappointed. Happy Home Educating!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of Andi's Fair Surprise in order to read and review on this blog.


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Posted by tink38570 at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, 6 May 2011 8:59 PM CDT
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Friday, 6 May 2011 - 9:13 AM CDT

Name: "Wendy R"
Home Page: http://homeschoolblogger.com/wendyfl/

Enjoyed your review. We enjoyed Andi's adventures, too. I'm following your blog now; I hope you'll come follow mine, too. Smile

Friday, 6 May 2011 - 11:13 AM CDT

Name: "Susan Marlow"
Home Page: http://www.circlecadventures.com

Thanks for the lovely review. I'm so glad your son enjoyed the books and activities. Kregel is a great publisher, and amazingly, they are offering the books on a special over on their "homeschool" page at their site. 

Have a great day!


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