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Book reviews


Here we review some of the best fiction and non-fiction books to go with topics about the Romans.

Escape from Pompeii

This engaging picture book tells the story of a young boy called Tranio who lives in Pompeii at the time of the famous eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. The story allows readers to follow the footsteps of Tranio and his friend Livia as they come to terms with the destruction of their city and find their own routes to freedom. Highly recommended.

Check out our Escape from Pompeii Planning Pack to go with this text.

The Orchard Book Of Roman Myths

The Orchard Book Of Roman Myths contains a selection of fifteen stories from Roman mythology retold for younger readers. The text in this collection is accompanied by bright illustrations and provides an attractive and engaging way of presenting myths to children.

The Thieves of Ostia

A gripping novel that provides plenty of background information about life in Ancient Roman times. The plot of The Thieves of Ostia centres around a young girl called Flavia who investigates the mysterious killing of a number of dogs in the Roman port of Ostia. This is a popular choice for KS2 classrooms and is part of the well-loved Roman Mysteries series.

Roman Things to Make and Do

A colourful and accessible book of fun classroom projects, with easy-to-follow instructions that can also be used as examples of instructional texts in their own right. Projects include Roman armour, mosaics, an emperor's wealth and many more. Roman Things to Make and Do is an essential resource for bringing this topic to life.

Looking for more instructional texts on a Romans theme? Check out our Romans Instructions Literacy Pack.

Romans on the Rampage

A super-fun novel that tells of the crazy adventures of Perilus, a Roman boy who dreams of riding chariots in the Circus Maximus. Romans on the Rampage is a laugh-out-loud story offering a bit of light relief and is perfect to read aloud to lower KS2.

Avoid Being a Roman Soldier (The Danger Zone)

Fiction and non-fiction merge in this funny and cartoon-style guide to life as a Roman soldier. This is a good text to use for guided reading and it contains many conventional features of non-fiction texts, including a full glossary, captions and an index. Avoid Being a Roman Soldier has a popular appeal throughout KS2.

What the Romans Did for Us

Written especially for less confident readers, this is part of a series of non-fiction texts that help pupils to research topics and find out information for themselves. Jam-packed with facts and information about the Romans, What the Romans Did For Us is great for independent reading and is a real gem for the classroom non-fiction collection.

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