Friday, August 31, 2012

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day.

Whilst in Melbourne, looking through a DVD store for a gift for my own dear father, I came across a BBC series called "Roman Mysteries". I thought it looked pretty interesting and so purchased Series 1 for my daughters. They weren't too thrilled with the idea of it ... there were no Disney stars or ponies you see.

Anyway on our return, about a week later on a particularly wintry afternoon, I popped the first DVD on and WOW, the girls were mesmerised. I had a hard time just restricting them to one episode at a time and each day were pleadings to watch more. Is there anything better to have than something like this to hold over a child's head ... all chores were done with a minimum of fuss and speed that week if they wanted to see the next episode.

The girls were so into the series that I googled it and found that the Roman Mysteries is actually a series of 17 historical novels for children by Caroline Lawrence. The stories take place in ancient Rome and it's about four teenage children (except for Lupus who is only 11) who solve mysteries and have adventures in Rome, Greece, and other places. The main characters are Flavia, a Roman girl; Nubia, a slave girl from Africa; Jonathan, a  Jewish boy; and Lupus, a mute beggar boy. The BBC has made 10 of the books into a series which whilst is entertaining is also a great way for a young person to learn something of ancient Rome.

My own girls were in stitches after seeing a scene with Lupus holding a sponge on a stick which is what ancient Romans used to use to wipe their bottoms after using the toilet.

The stories have sort of taken hold of them and since then we have read a few books on Ancient Rome. It's great when we read something and they get excited when they can relate it back to the series. It seems to make it more real to them.  We have also started compiling an Ancient Rome lapbook produced by Dynamic 2 Moms to which I'll add some things relating to the Roman Mysteries series.

Last week I went and purchased the second series and the girls are really enjoying it also. From what I can tell there is no Series 3 yet and I am not sure if the BBC are producing one. I am sure that Caroline Lawrence's books are much better than the series but sadly our local library doesn't have them so I will have to order them from the good old Book Depository.

Now if anyone can recommend a good DVD series on ancient Greece or Egypt that will be the rest of the year covered for history. Do your children prefer living books or non-fiction? Mine struggle with non-fiction unless it is a subject really close to their hearts. Maybe I need to write to Caroline Lawrence and suggest she start writing a series for children on these places too!

1 comment :

  1. Bethany is right into Ancient Egypt. There is a my story on Cleopatra that she enjoyed and there is one on the Roman's from memory that she hasn't read yet.


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