History News: The Greek News: The Greatest Newspaper in Civilization

James Putnam, Author, Anton Powell, Editor, Philip Steele, Editor
James Putnam, Author, Anton Powell, Editor, Philip Steele, Editor Candlewick Press (MA) $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56402-874-7
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7636-0340-3
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-8368-2720-0
Paperback - 30 pages - 978-0-590-05660-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-22862-6
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-24863-1
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7636-4197-9
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Both subtitled ""The Greatest Newspaper in Civilization,"" these informally written volumes collect ""the stories that really made the headlines"" during the height of the Greek and Roman empires, or would have, if those eras had enjoyed USA Today, Dear Abby and contemporary advertising. With a tabloid-style format that is smaller than an actual newspaper yet larger than standard picture books, these books present ancient history as ""news,"" putting it into a shape and jargon familiar to kids today (see also Children's Books, p. 24). Aside from the hard news stories of the day (""Sparta Attacks!""; ""Alexander Wins!""), The Greek News offers a quiz to measure how close readers come to being ""the perfect Greek citizen,"" a piece denouncing cheating at the Olympic Games and answers to farmers' questions about suitable crops to grow (olives and grapes get the nod). ""Hannibal Invades"" and ""Caesar Stabbed!"" are among the news articles in Roman; also included are tips on buying a slave, a profile of a trader's job and a 10-step guide to hosting ""fantastic feasts"" (never try to squeeze more than three guests onto a couch, designate one room as a vomitorium). Timelines, copious illustrations, maps and droll ads round out each of these entertaining, deftly organized books. They will make terrific light-hearted additions to curriculum units on ancient civilizations. Ages 9-14. (Sept.)
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