For Young Italophiles/Bibliophiles
If you're taking the kids to Italy this year or just want to encourage their love of history, be sure to get them reading! A review of The Enemies of Jupiter by Caroline Lawrence (in yesterday's Washington Post) caught my eye. Here's what reviewer Elizabeth Ward had to say:
Some lucky kids might be headed to Italy this summer, but stay-at-homes can compensate with the "Roman Mysteries" -- a detective/adventure series set in and around 1st-century Rome, by a writer trained in archaeology, Latin and Hebrew. The Enemies of Jupiter is the seventh title in the series, which stars four bright children who have forged a bond despite differing social, ethnic and religious backgrounds. They are also regular magnets for trouble. Here the quartet gets to help the Emperor Titus pinpoint the cause of a plague sweeping the city. The books' plots are blithely improbable, in the manner of a Boxcar Children or Cam Jansen mystery, and the dialogue can be stilted ("The fate of Rome may be in your hands!"). But the series shines in its depiction of daily life, reflecting Lawrence's scholarly interest in everything to do with ancient Rome, from language, social structure and architecture to food and medicine. Kids who immerse themselves in these books -- and 11 more are promised, including The Gladiators From Capua in October -- will be well prepared to appreciate Italy when (or if) they do get there.