curriculum reviews

Thick as Thieves Book Review

We received a 173 page paperback copy of Susan K Marlow’s Thick as Thieves from Circle C Milestones to review.  I gave the book to Allie (15) to read.  She has never been one to seek out your classic “girl and her horse” books, so I wasn’t quite sure if she’d like it.  It didn’t take Allie very long at all to read the book.

Allie explained that this is definitely about book about a girl and her horse(s), but this book was so much more.  This is Christian historical fiction based in the 1880’s in California. The main character is Andrea (Andi) Carter, age 14.  She and her family live on Circle C Ranch. We get to see her love of her horses and her relationship with others grow.

Andi’s horse, Taffy was getting ready to foal, but it was still too early.  Andi was very concerned about her horse and the baby.  After a long and very scary labor and delivery, Andi and her brother Chad were surprised Taffy had two foals! Twins.  Andi raises and trains these horses throughout the book. They are in her every thought, even when she is supposed to be doing her schoolwork.

In school Andi befriends the new girl, Macy.  Macy is a hard girl to like.  She’s not like the other girls at all.  She’s dirty, doesn’t wear pretty clothes and she isn’t very nice most of the time.  Andi sticks with her even when she doesn’t want to.  Macy even does some pretty mean things to Andi, but she stays with her.  Andi eventually finds out more about Macy’s family and her past and helps her.

Ms. Marlow has done an excellent job of weaving Christianity through this wholesome story of a teenage girl, her family, friends and the trails of life in the 1880’s.  This story is very suspenseful and has many plot twists.  It’s definitely a page turner!

Allie liked how the book had  Christian messages sprinkled throughout the book.  As Andi faced situations, Bible verses would pop into her head. You also get to hear Andi’s many prayers as she faces situations she knows she needs God’s help.

There is also a free downloadable study guide .  This would be a great resource to make a unit study from this book.  It includes vocabulary, discussion questions, geography, history, writing, and “just for fun” activities.

Circle C Beginnings is the first time you meet Andrea Carter at age 6.  Circle C Adventures is about Andi when she is 12. Thick As Thieves is the first book in the third series, Circle C Milestones,  about Andrea Carter.  Allie is very anxious to read what happens next!  Book 2 Heartbreak Trail will be coming out in July.

I am very impressed with the the stories and activity guide.  Susan Marlow has done an excellent job of writing books that a mom can trust giving to her daughter.  I am looking forward to sharing book 2 with Allie in the near future and taking a close look at the other books she has written to share with my younger children.  She even has a series for boys. What a blessing to find books with a Christian message, historical content and that hold your child’s attention!

You can find Circle C Milestones and Susan K Marlow on Facebook and Twitter.

Many others on the Review Crew also reviewed this book.  Click on the banner below to see what they had to say about it.

Koru Naturals ReviewCrew Disclaimer


1 thought on “Thick as Thieves Book Review”

  1. Thanks so much for your lovely review (and thank Allie too, the “not horse and girl” reader). Honestly, neither am I, especially the contemporary horse-girl books. I find them quite dull. I am not horse-crazy like my younger sister was. I was more into outer space. 🙂

    But I liked western TV shows when I was younger–for the action and adventure. And . . . they happen to ride horses. (And I’m smart enough to know that if you put a bit of a “horse” theme in a book, you’ve caught a good portion of the audience.) But stories really CAN’T be about horses. They’re about people. I’m glad Allie discovered that. Pretty much the “horse” is the hook for many girls, but I hope they’re not too disappointed when the story ends up being about adventures, character, and real-life in the 1880s.

    Anyway, thanks again and I hope you enjoy the rest of Andi’s adventures. You can read behind the scenes on Andi’s blog: Lots of homeschooling fans over there, and they hardly EVER mention horses. Go figure. They just like Andi’s family, I guess.


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