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The Wonders of Ancient Greece for Elementary and Middle Graders

If You Were Me and Lived in …Ancient Greece

Written by Carole P. Roman

Illustrated by Mateya Arkova

ancientgreece,picThis book is part of a new series which looks at the cultures and customs not of individual countries but about civilizations throughout time. Ancient Greece is the topic of the first release. The author begins by describing the geographical location of Greece and how Greece may have looked in the past contrasting it with the present. Unlike the other series, this book covers a much broader time period, and the author chooses to stage her character as a child living around 350 B.C. in classical Greece. There is no mention of the previous Greek Archaic Period, the rule of the aristocracy or the tyrants which eventually evolved into the establishment of democratic city states. Much of the book discusses everyday life, food, dress, education, family structure, occupations, and religion. Roman ends her discussion with the military conqueror Alexander the Great who established an empire, and whose death would usher in the end of the classical period and the beginning of the Hellenistic Age.

There is a great deal of information simplified and condensed for the elementary school and middle school reader. I would have liked to see more detailed maps showing locations and some actual photographs, though the simple, soft pastel illustrations are lovely and appealing for a younger reader. The glossary and list of gods and goddesses are helpful because readers will need to reference these to keep track of all the information. No doubt this book will open a child’s eyes to the vast legacy of ancient Greece and provide an excellent starting ground for future explorations on the political, social, religious,scientific and educational contributions of ancient Greece.

Barbara Ann Mojica, Author
P.O. Box 112
Craryville, NY 12521-0112
Tel/Fax: 518-325-5199
www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

Book Review: Alexander the Great

Alexander The Great: The Macedonian Who Conquered the World

Written by Sean Patrick

Alexthegreat,pic

This book is not a biography or carefully researched book about military history. Rather it is a book with a very specific point of view on how to set out to achieve your goals. In fact, the first quarter of the book deals with the theory that the simplest way to defeat obstacles that stand in your way and to systematically accomplish the goals you set for yourself is to be as determined in your drive as Alexander the Great. Patrick’s theory states that if you do this, you will show your bravery and tenacity to your opponents, who will then lose the will to keep fighting you.

The middle section of this book retells the events of Alexander’s campaigns. Patrick consistently presents Alexander in a favorable light, largely discounting other reasons for success or failure. Finally, the last third of the book explains what the author calls The Power of Purpose. All of us should learn from Alexander’s journey to greatness that to be successful the reader needs to do the following: strengthen her will by having a clear purpose, put that purpose into motion, and then follow through to reach the goal by never relenting or giving up on it.

This is an interesting theory if you are looking for inspiration and motivation. On the other hand, if you are expecting to find a book based on meticulous historical research or an accurate portrait of Alexander’s life, this one will not fill your expectations. At approximately fifty pages, it is a short motivational read for young adults and adult readers.

Barbara Ann Mojica
http://www.littlemisshistory.com/