A Look at Ancient Rome

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

What do you know about Ancient Rome? I am sure you have heard of Julius Caesar and the Colosseum, but if you are like me you may not know too many details. Today's books will help kids learn about the great empire in fun and humorous ways. The first book is The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome: A Handbook for Time Travelers by Jonathan W. Stokes and illustrated by David Sossella. 

This is another book in the Thrifty Guide Series for Time Travelers. I reviewed the American Revolution one last week. They are set in the future and time travel has been discovered. People pay to go live through parts of history as a vacation. These books are humorous and a parody of travel guides. I found this one on Ancient Rome especially intriguing. I am guessing it is because I know much less about Ancient Rome than the American Revolution. Throughout the book there is advice about staying alive, what to do when attacked by a lion, etc. It describes the environment of Ancient Rome. The Romans brought us many things like aqueducts, language, calendar and more. They also paved the streets. This book goes into details about the famous people from Ancient Rome including Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony and more. You learn about Caesar going across Europe conquering the land from the Barbarians and then into Egypt. There are also funny asides and comments about the future and the owner of Time Corp. the time traveling company as well as reviews of hotels and restaurants.

I love the information shared and the humor of this book. It is such a fun way to learn about history and to get kids thinking about how life really was in that time period. This book shares things like who can become a slave--basically everyone and how slaves seem to be better off than the soldiers. It is so interesting to read the history and laugh at the jokes. I hope you will check out this series and add it to your history lessons. The book is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

Our next book is the second in the Julius Zebra Series. It is Julius Zebra: Battle with the Britons by Gary Northfield. We reviewed the first one here. In the first book Julius was zebranapped from Africa to fight the gladiators in Rome. He somehow manages to win with the help from his animal friends. He is offered his freedom, but won't go without his friends. He and his friends become famous and he is known as the People's Champion. This is where the second book picks up. Julius and his friends are enjoying their fame and the emperor has promised to free them if Julius wins the next battle, but the emperor leaves the battle early and goes back on his word. Then he tells them he will free them if Julius wins a battle in a new territory--Brittania. Julius thinks they are going on vacation, but is very mistaken. The passage to Brittania is long and they are forced to work on the ship. Brittania is very cold and wet and they are given a shack to stay in and it has holes in the roof. Oh, and the Britons hate Romans, so they are not happy to have the animal gladiators in their amphitheater. The longer they stay though the more they realize they have in common with the Britons. It is quite the adventure and teaches about the expansion and rule Rome had on other countries. The Roman empire was on three continents. 

The story is an adventure and full of funny moments. It also has cartoon like drawings throughout it. It is recommended for ages 7 to 10. At the end of the book there is a section of what the Romans brought to Britain (and as a result to us). This series is funny and entertaining as well as informative about life in the Roman empire. It is perfect for the younger kids who are mastering reading chapter books. I also love how the pages are numbered using Roman Numerals. There is an explanation of Roman Numerals in the back of the book as well. 

Looking for some fun resources to add to your Ancient Rome unit, be sure to check out these books. They will have you laughing while you learn!