"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman Gladiator by John Malam and David Salariya

An entertaining, historically solid book - for 4th graders and over

The Roman Coliseum, home of many
gladitorial contests

You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman Gladiator is entertaining and it contains solid, accurate history presented in a visually interesting format.

While I've been looking a few of the books from this series for my own personal entertainment, my almost 4th grade daughter has been sneaking them out of the stack and reading them without any encouragement from me. Imagine! Kids surreptitiously reading history!

The book details the life of a gladiator that is captured as a slave in battle in Gaul. We follow him to his sale in the market and what kind of jobs he might have been sent to (in the mines, as a galley slave, on the farm, etc.). The slave is sent to gladiator school and we learn about their training, what they ate, the different types of gladiators and how they were punished. We learn about different types of gladiator fights and how gladiator fights were generally organized.

Well done. It should be a welcome part of any Rome unit from 4th grade and up.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

Reviewed June 14, 2009.

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