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A good introduction to the period
on 6 August 2008
This childrens book is a useful introduction to the period that it is set in, the first century AD. Along with nice descriptions of roman houses, clothes and scrolls, the story contains slave dealers, early christianity and passing references to Pliny. Thus it provides the reader, who probably would have little or no knowledge of the romans, with a good flavour of what life would have been like, using four children of different backgrounds as the principle characters.
The prose is simple enough to be understood by children at the upper end of primary school, but children older than that might find it a little dull. The same goes for the plot itself.
It is certainly a good place to start for children beginning an interest in historical fiction or classical history, before moving on to authors in the teenage/adult category like Rosemary Sutcliff.