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I Met a Roman Last Night, What Did You Do? (Reluctant Reader) Paperback – 29 Sep 2006
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Jack doesn't like going to bed, nothing exciting could possibly happen once you're in bed could it? Maybe it could, because whenever Jack goes to sleep something extraordinary happens, he travels back in time! He meets Vikings and Anglo Saxons, helps to write the Doomsday book and much more.
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It's also a delightful mix of educational content and narrative excitement. On a personal level, it was lovely to have that whistle-stop tour through Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Celtic life. I've studied "Beowulf" in the original - for two different degrees! - and I'm always happy to see it mentioned in any story!
I must admit the sudden jump to the 20th century at the end did take me by surprise (I was hoping for Chaucer, but suspect that's just me being greedy - and it certainly wouldn't bother any story-loving child ...) but it does bring about a lovely turn to the tale, with the focus on Jack and the new girl at school. Here his experience helps him to deal with the modern school situation and is, indeed, a lesson for us all in how to handle the unfamiliar, and relate it to our own lives.
In short, thoroughly recommended for the youngsters in your family, and an excellent and lively introduction to various historical eras. I'm looking forward to the sequel.
A fun read for young minds.
Jack's journey starts with the Romans and moves on to the Celts and the burial of Boudicca. Next, he attends an Anglo Saxon feast and befriends a young Anglo Saxon girl. He also gets to see a Viking Longhouse firsthand, and even lends a hand in writing the Domesday book.
What I love most about this story is the way it brings history alive. Jack's adventures lend a personal side to history that textbooks and museums can't possibly do. In each of his encounters, Jack takes with him something that he could not have learned in the classroom. This is most apparent in his final night-time journey into English history, when he finds himself in war-time Britain during World War II. Not only does he learn something about history during his time there, but he learns something about people in his own time too.
This is a lively and interesting story with colourful characters. Highly recommended for children- this is guaranteed to get them excited about history!
Book review by Claire Morris. (8 years old)
`I met a Roman last night, what did you do?' is entertaining and educational. It tells you about the Romans, the Celts, the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings, the Normans and the Second World War. It has a character called Jack and every time he goes to sleep he travels back in time and meets a person like a Viking or a Roman. It is an interesting story and I recommend it to people who like a fun story. The chapter names make you want to read on and when you do you're not disappointed. I like the choice of type face a lot. `I met a Roman last night, what did you do?' is a brilliant story. I am glad to be writing a review for it.