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Children's LiteratureStep into the world of ancient Greece and meet some of its philosophers, poets, Olympic champions and gods and goddesses. Travel to Athens, one of the first democracies in the world, and Mount Olympus, where the Greeks believed their gods and goddesses lived. Visit temples and festivals, and the agora, the marketplace of Athens. How did the Greeks live? What were their houses like? What did they do for fun? How did Greek athletes train for the Olympics? What sports did athletes participate in at the first Olympics? The answers to these questions and much more valuable information is found between the covers of this exceptional book. This guide is the nonfiction companion to Hour of the Olympics, another title in the "Magic Tree House" series. Photographs and illustrations enhance the concise text. Jack and Annie, the protagonists in the "Magic Tree House" series, appear throughout the book to tell readers "fun facts" about ancient Greece. For example, readers will learn that flute music was played during the long jump at the first Olympics; that actors in Greek plays always wore masks; and that Greek children kept pet goats, turtles, mice, dogs and birds. The last chapter in this book discusses today's Olympics and compares it to the original. As always, Jack and Annie tell readers where they can find additional information about ancient Greece and provide tips for doing more research. Children old enough to read this book will be able to put the Olympics events in Greece this summer in a cultural and a historical context. This may be the first time in their short lives that they can participate as spectators and watch the games with interest. 2004, Random House, Ages 6 to 10.
—Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.