Wednesday, July 29, 2015

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK REVIEW: Danger in Ancient Rome by Kate Messner


Ranger, the time-traveling golden retriever, is back for the second book in Kate Messner's new chapter book series. This time, he's off to save the day in ancient Rome!

Ranger is a golden retriever who has been trained as a search-and-rescue dog. In this adventure, Ranger travels to the Colosseum in ancient Rome, where there are gladiator fights and wild animal hunts! Ranger befriends Marcus, a young boy Ranger saves from a runaway lion, and Quintus, a new volunteer gladiator who must prove himself in the arena. Can Ranger help Marcus and Quintus escape the brutal world of the Colosseum?


Messner has created an enjoyable early chapter book series that combines the adventures of a dog with history.  What a fun way to encourage children to learn more about the past.  In this volume of the series, Ranger ends up in the Colosseum in Ancient Rome where young Marcus works as a slave for a gladiator school.  When Marcus gets attacked by a lion, Ranger races to the rescue along with a recently recruited gladiator named Quintus.  Quintus doesn't seem to have what it takes to be a gladiator but Marcus does what he can to help.  Ranger, a trained search and rescue dog helps Marcus find Quintus when he runs away.  But can Ranger save the day again when Quintus ends up in the arena fighting the most experienced gladiator from the school after only a few days of training?  The story moves quickly which is bound to help young readers finish the book quickly.  The illustrations are a nice touch as well giving the reader a glimpse into a very different world.  The authors notes at the end I thoroughly enjoyed as Messner gives the reader a look into her research process and what she learned about Ancient Rome.  A fun series for young readers.

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