Image from Kregel


I read the book Andi’s Indian Summer (Circle C Beginnings #2)
and couldn’t wait to share it with you!

The Circle C Beginnings Series + Free Sample to Read!

The series Circle C Beginnings by Susan K. Marlow is perfect for young readers who are transitioning from early readers to early chapter books. From the back of the book: In the Circle C Beginnings series, you will meet young Andi Carter, who is eager to grow up and experience the exciting Wild West of the late 1800’s. Fun pictures and Andi’s curiosity will keep you turning the pages. Click on this sample chapter to read it for yourself.

Andrea Carter

Yes, this is the same Andrea Carter from Ms. Marlow’s other series, but now we have a set of books for younger children. Although the age listed on the books is for 6-8 year olds, don’t hold too firmly to that. Some 6 year-olds won’t be ready for this early chapter book, while some 8 year-olds will be beyond it. This is for those readers who are ready to move beyond the super skinny leveled readers. They want to dig into a chapter book, but some look sooooooo long. That’s the kind of reader who would be perfect for this book.

At the beginning of the book, a mini-dictionary alerts readers to some words they may not know. I like that the word “jim-dandy” is there. Fun word!

There are ten chapters, but most are only six pages. Very manageable for first-time chapter book readers. Simple sketches are sprinkled throughout, to give just a little break from the printed page.

This pleasant summer story has a good combination of horses, cowboys and Indians, and a bit of a scare. Although it is written from a girl’s perspective, I think plenty of boys would enjoy it.

If your students have enjoyed listening to you read Little House on the Prairie books, they would like reading this book on their own.

I recommend it for individual readers, partner readers, or even a classroom read-aloud for grades K, 1, and 2.

Suggested Learning Activities

Art – Students may try to make sketches like the ones in the book. They look simple, but are difficult for young students to copy. Still, it would be fun to try. Perhaps they could make a sketch for another part of the book where a picture is not provided.

Reading – Ask students to think of the main thing that happens in each chapter. You may wish to do this after each chapter, rather than waiting until they’re finished reading the whole thing. Boil it down to one sentence or idea for each chapter. Write each sentence on a piece of paper, then ask students to put them in the correct sequence. Allow them to use their books to re-read parts they don’t remember.

Genre – Explain what fiction and non-fiction means. In the story, the kids read a dime novel and question whether it could be true. Is this book about Andi fiction or non-fiction? Can fiction sound like non-fiction? Can non-fiction sound like fiction? How do you tell the difference?

Vocabulary – Choose one of the words (like jim-dandy) and ask students to try to use that word today. They’ll have a good laugh when you tell them their work is jim-dandy.


Question: Have you read this series yet? What did you think? 



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