Thick as Thieves by Susan K. Marlow

Fourteen-year-old Andrea Carter would rather ride her beloved palomino, Taffy, than do anything else. But life on the Circle C ranch in 1882 is busy. Between school and chores, Andi is left with little time to prepare for Taffy’s first foaling. Then when the event finally arrives, it nearly ends in disaster.

Returning to school keeps Andi hard-pressed to find time for foal training. And she now has a new problem on her hands–Macy Walker, who has been assigned as Andi’s seatmate. The new girl’s crude manners and cruel behavior bring storm clouds into Andi’s life, as does the news that cattle rustlers have moved into the valley.

When the cattle rustlers turn to stealing horses and strike the Carter ranch, Andi’s only hope for recovering her precious colts lies with Macy. Can Andi trust this wild girl? Does she have a choice?

Learn more about the Circle C Milestones and see other study guides on Susan’s website or Buy Book.


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  • Grades 5-7
  • Western
  • Classic comparison: Little House meets Bonanza
Susan K Marlow, Thick as Thieves, study guide

A six-week study guide for this faith-based novel that covers vocabulary, comprehension and “digging deeper” questions as well as writing skills. Also explores topics related to the 1880s ranching in California:

  • Geography
  • Foaling and foal training
  • Leeches and bloodletting
  • 1880s arithmetic and schooling
  • Canyons
  • Farriers
  • Cattle rustling then and now
  • Dime novels
  • And more!

Author Visits with Susan K. Marlow