The Roman Mysteries: The Thieves of Ostia: Book 1

The Thieves of Ostia
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He becomes the smartest one of the group, and who's able to figure out things our scroll-loving Flavia cannot. Did I mention he can free-dive to a ship that no one else can and by the 14th book, he's also an acrobat of sorts? It's just a tad Luckily, the plots are fast-moving enough that this isn't too glaring of an issue. But poor Flavia and Jonathan. It seems like most readers don't even like them by then. Another thing is that these are sort of depressing subjects that are dealt with. A lot of children's mystery and adventure books deal with more light-hearted romps, but this series isn't one of them.

It's still very well-written and educational oh, so educational and therefore to be recommended, however, a fun-in-the-sun read they are not. I know some of the characters tried to do "humorous" things which other characters found amusing, but they are, in general, not that humorous. Like I said, lots of people die. There are lots and lots of uber depressing things that go on that make you glad you don't live in Ancient Rome. There are terrible things that happen at, basically, the drop of a hat, that include: Death by you name it, and it happens.

Like I said, lots and lots of deaths, and they aren't even the "mystery" part of these mysteries. It actually startled me that the intended audience is supposed to be 10, but I suppose children lived such atrocities, so why are we shielding them from knowing about it? There you have it. The series in a nutshell. Well-written, bite-sized, accurate Ancient Roman Empire adventure mystery stories.

CBBC Roman Mysteries Series 1 The Secrets of Vesuvius Part 2

Jun 26, Femke Vos rated it really liked it. I would certanly recommend it for learning the English language to anybody between 12 and 16 and again when they are over Between 16 and 20 years of age, people will either know their English well or find themselves 'to old for this' like many teenagers and young adults do.

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Also a really nice tale to read to children under 10 before tucking them in. A good first mistery novel! I loved the tv show when it was on cbbc but I never got the chance to read the books till now. I love the characters and their individual personalities. The mystery is a bit basic but it's for kids so it's understandable. My only issue is I could personally do without the Christian imagery. I understand that it is a key part of Jonathan's character and that's fine but I could do without his dad making the other kids take part in their religious belief, forcing them to pray great bit of nostalgia.

I understand that it is a key part of Jonathan's character and that's fine but I could do without his dad making the other kids take part in their religious belief, forcing them to pray to God. I felt that the moral of feeling guilty could easily be taught without putting God into it.

That particular scene just felt disconnected from the rest of the story and could have been left out. Besides that it's a good read and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Sep 24, Evan rated it really liked it Shelves: The Thieves of Ostia isn't quite YA lit — it's aimed at children rather than preteens or teens — but it's still more palatable to the adult reader than, say, the Percy Jackson series.

The best quality of The Thieves of Ostia is that it's genuinely educational. It skims over historical bullet points in service of the modern child reader, but it does inspire one to learn more about the setting — even adults who are familiar with Ancient Rome. I can see year-old me loving this book quite a bit.

The worst part is the heavy-handed moralism. Most modern books concerning Imperial Rome are going to mention Christianity in some form, because most modern books are a product of Christian societies, if not Christian authors, but Lawrence really goes all-out with her YHWH-ing. No problem there, really. But average Roman citizens sitting through a sermon on Christian forgiveness and prayer and letting the Lord into your heart is clumsy and absurd.

That aside, Roman Mysteries is liable to become one of my favorite juvenile fiction series. Jul 17, Sam rated it liked it. Flavia Gemina, daughter of Captain Geminus, teams up with her friends Jonathan, a Jewish boy; Nubia, an African slave; and Lupus, a mute beggar, to find out who is killing the dogs in her street. They believe that Avitus, a neighbour whose daughter recently died from a dog bite, could be the killer and begin following him.

However, when Avitus commits suicide, it becomes apparent that he is not the The Thieves of Ostia is the first book in The Roman Mysteries series written by Caroline Lawrence. However, when Avitus commits suicide, it becomes apparent that he is not the culprit. After some more investigating, they discover that it is Libertus, their neighbour and freed slave of Cordius, who has been killing the dogs. This book was a really good read. It has a lot of suspense and keeps you guessing the whole way through. The characters are very appealing and Lawrence helps you picture them by describing their features well.

Moreover, the book really appeals to the senses by describing the sounds and smells very vividly. Classes studying Roman History can use this book as a reference. Cities such as Corinth, Jerusalem and Sicily are all mentioned in the book. In addition, the book describes Roman culture, Roman writers and even the layout of a Roman city. Slavery and religion in the Roman Empire are also strong topics, which makes it a very educational read.

Aug 31, Sarah rated it really liked it. In this book heroine Flavia Gemina, a Roman sea captain's daughter, takes the reader on a suspense-filled adventure through ancient Rome.

Thieves of Ostia

Set in 79 AD, Ostia, Flavia sets off to track down her father's stolen signet ring when she befriends a diverse group of characters. They team up together to catch the person responsible for the recent spate of dog killings in Ostia and find out what their motives are.

This book is beautifully written and carefully explains what daily life in Rome was like in In this book heroine Flavia Gemina, a Roman sea captain's daughter, takes the reader on a suspense-filled adventure through ancient Rome. This book is beautifully written and carefully explains what daily life in Rome was like in painstaking detail, from clothing and housing to slavery and religion. As the main characters of the book come from very different backgrounds the reader also gets to understand how experiences of life in ancient Rome contrasted depending on social standing.

The Year 3 class I was working with read this book as part of an introduction into the topic of Roman life and loved both the plotlines and the characters. The style of writing is very vivid, clear and humorous, which enabled the children to easily absorb all of the information about ancient Rome while focusing on the story.

The story was a valuable and enjoyable introduction into Roman life, however, some may find the descriptions of brutalities in ancient Rome, from suicide to the way the dogs are killed, too graphic and perhaps inappropriate for younger pupils. Mar 04, Alicia rated it liked it Shelves: May 30, Chris rated it it was ok Shelves: I waffled on whether to give this a two or a three star rating. I liked it, but I also had reservations. Sometimes kids books fall into this weird limbo of being simultaneously cozy and On the one hand, you've got slavery, prejudice, slaughtered dogs, and a kid who'd had his tongue cut out!

But I did like it well enough to try a I waffled on whether to give this a two or a three star rating. But I did like it well enough to try another in the series.

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Feb 28, jen rated it liked it Shelves: I thought this was a good historical fiction piece for the intended age group. There were enough clues so you could figure out the mystery without it being completely obvious. The history teacher in me enjoyed the historical references and "teaching points" that were well integrated into the story. There was a lot to learn about the period without it becoming a history lecture. Let me first say that this book may not be a great read for dog lovers. There's a few dogs killed in this book, three of which having their heads lopped off and taken.

This is the central plot of the story, that the dogs have lost their heads and someone is taking them, so this may not be the best book for a dog lover, or a kid that's particularly sensitive to violence against animals. Additionally, there are some more difficult concepts for a young reader that I'm not sure how my own kids will h Let me first say that this book may not be a great read for dog lovers. Additionally, there are some more difficult concepts for a young reader that I'm not sure how my own kids will handle, though they're not particularly sensitive kids.

There is talk of slavery and a slaver who has threatened to steal free-born children for sale overseas. There is also a boy who has had his tongue cut out, and it does mention briefly the challenges he faces with simple things, like eating, due to his lack of tongue. It does make it a little bit of a harder story for young readers, given it's covering topics that are a little harder for kids. It's certainly not a fluffy story, though from what I understand, this is still a rather gentle view of Ancient Rome.

That being said, it was a decent read. As an adult the book was a little too simplistic and direct, but for a kids' book it was about what I'd expect in a mystery. The story was well crafted, though while it did contain some details of what life in the Roman empire may have been like, it didn't give a lot of depth into life in that era, which is logical because I think it would have detracted from the story far too much, making it difficult to follow. However, I would have loved to see more elements and descriptions of Roman life included.

I can only imagine there is more description and depth as the series continues, probably adding more aspects of Roman life with each book, building upon the understanding in the previous books. But for now, the chain it hung on would serve another useful purpose. Slipping the bulla into the coin purse which hung from her belt, she carefully set the chain in a pool of sunlight.

Slowly, Flavia backed out of the study and squeezed past the folding door into the cool, dim atrium. As soon as she was out of the magpie's sight, she crept along the short corridor which led back to the garden. Peeping round the corner, she was just in time to see the magpie fly down into the study. Flavia held her breath and prayed her father would not come back and disturb the bird. A moment later the magpie flew back up onto a branch, the chain dangling from its beak like a glittering worm.

It remained there for a moment looking around, then flew away over the red-tiled roof to the south, towards the graveyard. Flavia ran through the garden and opened the small back door. For an instant she hesitated. She knew the heavy bolt would fall back into place behind her and she would be locked out. If she went through the doorway she would leave the protection not only of her home, but of Ostia: Furthermore, the door led directly into the necropolis, the 'city of the dead', with its many tombs and graves scattered among the trees, and her father had warned her never to go there.

But she had promised to find his ring: Flavia took a deep breath and stepped out. The door shut behind her and she heard the bolt fall. There was no going back now. She was just in time to glimpse a flutter of glossy black and white as the bird flew to a tall umbrella pine.

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She ran quickly and quietly, keeping the trunk of a large cypress tree between herself and the feathered thief. The magpie flew off again and Flavia ran to the pine tree.

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Peeping out from behind it, she saw nothing; no movement anywhere. Then she saw it. In an old oak near a large tomb something flashed. Something flashed black and white. It was the magpie. It had popped up from the trunk of the oak like a cork ball in a pond, and its beak was empty! For a few minutes the magpie preened itself smugly, no doubt pleased at its afternoon's haul. Presently it hopped onto a higher branch, cocked its head for a moment and flew back towards the north, probably to see if there was any treasure left in her house.

Flavia dodged among the tombs and trees and reached the old oak in no time. The bark was rough and scratched her hands but its roughness helped her to get a good grip. She went up it with little difficulty.

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The Thieves of Ostia has ratings and reviews. Jon said: So I've been reading a book on Roman triumphs by one of the best classicists writing to. The Roman Mysteries: The Thieves of Ostia: Book 1 Imprint Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd); Publication City/Country.

When she reached the place where the trunk forked into branches, her eyes opened in amazement: Her chain lay on top. And there was her father's signet-ring! With a silent prayer of thanks to Castor and Pollux , she slipped the ring and chain into her drawstring coin purse. Digging deeper, she found three silver bangles and a gold earring. Flavia put these in her purse as well, but decided to leave an assortment of cheap copper chains and earrings; they had gone green with age. Orion Children's; New edition April 1, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Defenses You'd Rather Not Build.

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More books by Caroline Lawrence

No doubt about it. With the memories of the city, reading the book felt so vivid and real, I could picture every nuance and detail as if I were watching on the screen or even experiencing it myself. Is that a bad thing? And everyone loves mystery solving! He takes her back to his house next door to her own where she meets his father Mordecai ben Ezra , a doctor, and his sister Miriam.

Terry Treetop and the lost egg: Join Terry Treetop for another adventure. Adorable rhyming and 18 beautiful colorful illustrations that children simply love. First Little Readers Parent Pack: Guided Reading Level D: Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention thieves of ostia caroline lawrence beggar boy flavia gemina roman mysteries slave girl mute beggar daily life book the thieves young readers ancient rome roman girl recommend this book roman empire solve the mystery pack of wild sea captain roman life killing the dogs another reviewer.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I downloaded this book for my thirteen-year-old daughter. She had originally borrowed this story from the public library in French and had read it at age ten. She loved the series and wanted to read it in English, hence the download. She feels that the content of the book is very age appropriate and she loved the principal characters.

As she put it, 'it is a very good book and a great start to the series. It is full of adventure and mystery. Flavia Gemina , Miriam, and Jonathan. They are set to find the murderer of Miriam and Jonathan's Dog, Bobus. On their search to find the murderer other fatal cases happen. I like this book very much. It never gets boring and in addition to a captivating storyline it provides good information about ancient Greek and Roman times e. Castor, Pollux, the Gemini sign, and Cerberus, the three headed dog of the underworld which is Greek.

I really don't have much criticism. A fact about the book that I didn't like, is that a lot of animals get killed along the way. There are lots of creative details in this story. The fact that there is a lot of history and Roman style in this book makes it more fun to read.

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The interesting personalities of the main characters add to the already intriguing story. It is practically impossible to accurately guess the ending, because it takes an unexpected twist just before the climax. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading the sequels. This book is so amazing!! Every time a chapter ends you cannot stop reading because you have to see how the situation ends Once you start something exciting, the chapter ends and the people mentioned in it are others than in the chapter before!

I would highly recommend this book for 5th and 6th graders I'm a 6th grader and I loved it! The book Thieves of Ostia is so exciting. It is about a girl named Flavia, a boy named Jonathan and a slavegirl named Nubia. Together they solve a mystery: I would recommend this book especially for 5th and 6th graders, but older and younger people can also read it. I think the book the Thieves of Ostia is a good book because it has suspension and it is interesting. It is very easy to read and not hard to understand.

You can learn a lot about the roman times and their living.

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You can read it in 6th grade even though it is not hard. It gives the children things to think about like , slaves and the way they were treated. You can also learn a bit of Latin and Greek. The tale is adventurous, but full of danger. Flavia, with a knack for finding things and a kind heart; Nubia, an African slaved and the only person who really understands dogs; Jonathon, a Jew with strength and knowledge; and Lupus, a mute beggar boy who lives in the streets of Ostia, Ancient Rome must work together to catch a thief who is trying to steal gold coins from Flavia's house.

Flavia catches Lupus stealing from her house. Will Flavia ever be able to forgive Lupus for robbing her house? And will Flavia be able to catch the dog killer on her street? This book is to be recommended to children ages 8 and up. The book "The thieves of Ostia" is a very good book and is good for children that like mystery stories plus it also can tell you about history and about the daily life people had.