The Buried City of Pompeii: What Is Was like when Vesuvius Exploded

Overview

The "I Was There" narrative of this suspenseful story tells of a city frozen in time by disaster--and what it might have been like to live and die there. Informative sidebars, full-color illustrations, and a compelling narrative will pull young readers into the action of history.

Uses a fictionalized account of the life of the steward of an important estate to describe the ancient Italian city of Pompeii and what happened to it ...

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Overview

The "I Was There" narrative of this suspenseful story tells of a city frozen in time by disaster--and what it might have been like to live and die there. Informative sidebars, full-color illustrations, and a compelling narrative will pull young readers into the action of history.

Uses a fictionalized account of the life of the steward of an important estate to describe the ancient Italian city of Pompeii and what happened to it during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Mt. Vesuvius' eruption in 79 A.D at once puffed out and preserved a bustling port to its south under an almost 13-foot thick blanket of pumice and ash. The buried City of Pompeii lay virtually undisturbed until 1748, when disorganized diggings bared buildings from which priceless artifacts quickly disappeared and art gradually faded. In 1860, archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli instituted the systematic excavation, restoration and preservation of the ancient Roman town, its treasures, and last inhabitants-starkly visible as casts made from hollows in the volcanic rock. Among the remains in what proved to be Pompeii's most luxurious home, archaeologists found the body of a man carrying the seal of the steward Eros. In an absorbing reconstruction of what it was like when Mt. Vesuvius erupted, Shelley Tanaka follows Eros as he oversees maintenance of his master's house, strolls to the baths past forum, temple, theater, and shops, then struggles home through a rain of pumice as the road crumbles beneath his feet. The once thriving town comes to life in an eye-opening juxtaposition of diagrams and paintings of the past, photographs of the present, and Ms. Tanaka's vivid narrative.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Tanaka's book is about as close to Pompeii as most of us will ever get. She provides wonderful background material about life in this ancient Roman city. She also creates a believable character in Eros, the steward of a rich family's estate. Pictures of the actual ruins of the town are interspersed with drawings and paintings that recreate scenes from daily life and the town's eventual destruction by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. It all comes together in a wonderful blend of fact and fiction that provides a believable account of Roman life. There is a glossary, list of picture credits, and list of recommended books for those whose appetites have been whetted for more information about volcanoes or life in Roman times.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7Almost 2000 years ago, a modern, prosperous Roman city was lost forever, buried in lava and ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted without warning. Although stories about Pompeii were told for hundreds of years after the city was abandoned, the first archaeological excavations did not begin until 1748. Many mysteries remain even as the work continues today. Tanaka brings Eros, the caretaker on a wealthy family's estate, back to life with a story that combines a lot of fact with a little educated fiction. Colorful photographs of modern Pompeii mix with illustrations, paintings, maps, and text to describe what one man might have been doing on that fateful day. The "I Was There" format makes it sometimes difficult to separate fact from fiction. Sidebars, insets, and full-page digressions enrich the information provided and fill in details about life in Pompeii, but also disrupt the flow of the main story. Information about ancient graffiti and the hollow molds left when the victims' bodies disintegrated will appeal to young readers. Tanaka concludes with a comment about Vesuvius's modern activity and the observation that another major eruption is long overdue. A final look at the continuing work fails to mention the damage that results from the two million tourists who visit the ancient city each year. In spite of its flaws, this book will be useful in most collections.Jeanette Larson, Texas State Library, Austin
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786815418
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
  • Publication date: 9/1/1900
  • Series: I Was There Series
  • Edition description: SPECIAL EDITION
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.12 (d)

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