on 13 February 2012
I was looking forward to reading Caroline's new book, as I love 'The Roman Mysteries', although as 'The Sewer Demon' 's target audience is children, I wasn't expecting to like it as much as her previous books and I was proved right.
It's a great story, the main character is very likeable but the story is much too directed at young children for it to be placed in my 'favourite books' list along with 'The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina', 'The Sirens of Surrentum' and 'The Man from Pomegranate Street'.
The story is about a young boy, Threptus, who hears that there is a 'sewer demon' causing trouble in Ostia and thanks to Lupus' (one of the main characters in 'The Roman Mysteries') encouragement, he sets off with his new guardian Floridius to solve the mystery. He gets chased by some bullies and pushed into a sewer. The story is mainly about him exploring the sewer, finding clues about what the 'sewer demon' could be (by hearing people's conversations in the toilets (which are above him) and finding out what the sewer demon is, by nearly being dragged under the sewer water by it (yuck) and why it's causing trouble.
The book when the sewers are being talked about, mentions 'poo' and 'pee' by name a lot which I think young boys would love and find very funny, (or maybe that's just my cousin who grabbed the book out of my hand when he saw the words first mentioned ;) ).
All in all, I think the book is well worth buying as the story creates the Ancient Roman world in a really interesting way and brings it to life using well thought out, interesting, funny and likeable characters.
I doubt I'll read the book again as much as the majority of Caroline's 'Roman Mysteries' books, but I'm really looking forward to the author's next series of books 'The Flavian Trilogy' which are based around love and romance, as they'll be much more up my street I think. I've lost count of how many times I've read the romantic books that Caroline has written. :)
on 8 February 2012
My daughters and I are huge fans of Caroline Lawrence's wonderful series, The Roman Mysteries, and I was delighted to read her latest book - The Sewer Demon - which is pitched at a slightly younger audience.
Threptus is a young beggar boy from the Roman port of Ostia who has become "apprenticed" to a self-proclaimed soothsayer named Floridius, who works on the shady side of legal trading. What starts off as a simple shopping trip leads Threptus through a frightening journey into the sewers and the chance to solve a mystery involving a suspected demon in the sewer of a Roman lady's house. It is crammed full of fascinating information about life in Roman times, especially toilets and the dreaded sponge stick, and will appeal to children aged 7+, or to even younger confident readers.
Mild peril, fast-paced adventure, oodles of lavatorial humour and bravery permeate the whole book, and it is destined to become a firm favourite for any child with an interest in history, the Romans or who just wants a really, really fun book to read.
I thoroughly enjoyed it even if I am 48 :-)
on 22 March 2012
I read The Sewer Demon with my 6 yr old daughter, well infact she read it to me I just helped out with the big words and the explanation of the latin names and phrases. I was a bit worried that that she might struggle with the book but she didn't, the story rolls along at steady pace just perfect for ages 6 and above.
The story revolves around a young ex beggar boy named Threptus living in the Roman port of Ostia who helps out Floridius a down on his luck soothsayer. Threptus has a run in with some older boys and inadvertantly ends up in the sewer system underneath Ostia where he encounters all sorts potential hazards such as demons (or does he??)and at one point finds himself directly under the public latrines where he almost literally gets dumped on!! My daughter loved this part of the book and giggled all the way through and I must admit so did I!The story continues with Threptus and Floridius getting into more scrapes and solving mysteries along the way.
The humour through out the book is perfect for young children, lots of poo and pee and trumping incidents will keep the kids laughing along while at the same time there's plenty of interesting facts about how the ancient Romans lived, plus the added tension when the dreaded sewer demon finally makes an appearance makes this book an excellent introduction to ancient Rome for the younger reader.
The Sewer Demon reviewed by Isabel Age 6
The story is about a young boy called Threptus. Threptus gets bullied by 3 older boys, he goes into the sewer to try and get his mentors charms back. He ends up under the public toilets and he see's a man having a poo, it made me laugh. I learnt that the Romans used a sponge on a stick to wipe their bum and after they used to put it in vinegar.
I thought that it was really funny and interesting and sometimes a bit scary.
I loved this story and can't wait to read the next one.
on 8 February 2012
Meet Threptus the Roman beggar boy, and his mentor Floridius the Soothsayer as he tries to outrun the bullies, outwit the magistrate and solve the mystery of the house haunted by a demon seemingly living in the sewers.
This is a lovely short story from the creator of The Roman Mysteries aimed at the slightly younger reader (around 7 years old) and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it aloud to a class of year 3's who weren't sure whether to giggle or go "eeeewwwwwwww" at the numerous references to poo and toilets! As Threptus leads us through the sewers of ancient Rome, he bombards us with facts about buildings and customs of the period, but all done in a way that will keep the reader engaged and enthralled whilst learning about this fascinating period of history.
I would recommend this book for younger more confident readers (6+) but I also think the "poo theme" will encourage reluctant or struggling readers. I can't wait for further adventures and will certainly be adding them to our school library.
on 5 March 2012
As with Caroline's other books, I read this to my little boy for a bedtime story. This one is closer to his age as he's still very young, and we both loved it. He was particularly pleased with the silly lispy voices and chicken noises required by the text and in all it was great fun.
Kids will love this and adults will love to read it to them.