________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 6. . . .October 9, 2015


Hard as Nails in Ancient Rome. (Hard as Nails in History Series).

Tracey Turner. Illustrated by Jamie Lenman.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2015.
64 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $23.96 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1516-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1513-9 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Rome-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Rome-History-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Alicia Cheng.

*** /4



If you’ve ever wanted to enter the murderous world of Roman politics, join the Roman army, or conquer Mesopotamia, read on. Journey to the uncivilized frontiers of the empire, besieged cities in Gaul, and across the Alps by elephant.

As well as discovering stories of courage and cunning, you might be in for a few surprises. Did you know, for example, that Emperor Caligula’s sister plotted to kill him? Or that Emperor Claudius’s wife was the murderer?

Get ready to meet some of the toughest people in the history of ancient Rome....


Have you ever wanted to find out more about Mark Anthony, Pompey the Great, or other Romans?

      As part of the “Hard as Nails” series, there is now a book on Ancient Rome. It is an entertaining recount of real-life characters who fought against each other to rule over Ancient Rome. The illustrations by Jamie Lenman are very appealing to children as is the succinct, to the point writing style. The comical illustrations set the tone for the witty and amusing facts that are sprinkled throughout the book. There’s a game that can be played, and each character in the book is given a “hard as nails” rating. Readers will also find a timeline of the Roman Empire, an index and glossary, and extra resources that children can turn to for more knowledge about this subject topic.

      I enjoyed how all of the characters were each given their own “Hardometer” that listed their wit, courage, survival skills, and ruthlessness. It’s a quick easy guide for readers to know what they’re getting into as they read more about a specific character. Hard as Nails in Ancient Rome would be a great read for children who are showing interest in history without wanting to read a textbook on this subject matter.


Alicia Cheng is a Children’s Librarian at the Vancouver Public Library in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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