CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 37 . . . . May 27, 2011
In A Roman Soldier's Handbook and What the Romans Did for the World, author Alison Hawes offers young readers a glimpse into the world of the ancient Romans at a grade 3 to 7's level of understanding and level of ability to read text in the form of captions, lists, fact boxes and even a letter-to-letter comparison between modern English and ancient Latin.
A Roman Soldier's Handbook speaks to the reader as though he or she considering joining the roman military. We are told we must be ". . . 18 years old . . . unmarried (and) . . . willing to obey orders without question (.)" Through the use of many outstanding photographs of actual people in ancient Roman military garb, readers are introduced to the uniform, the weapons, the training and battle tactics. Students will be intrigued at the clarity of the explanations and how closely the photographs mirror the textual descriptions.
In What the Romans did for the World, Hawes provides an initial explanation of the Romans conquering the Celts, the ancient people who lived in Britain. In much of the rest of the book, she explains how Roman civilization influenced the nations it conquered, particularly the Celts. Readers learn that the British were influenced in language, eating utensils, foods introduced by the Romans (including apples, cherries, chicken and pears). Each particular item is illustrated with a very large, clear photograph.
Each of these books introduces readers to a civilization which had profound effects on the world in ancient times, the impact of which can still be seen in modern times. The interest level and reading level makes these books best suited for grades 3 to 7.
Robert Groberman is a grade three teacher at Kirkbride Elementary School in Surrey, BC.
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