My Family and Other Romans by Marie Basting – at a glance
The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Family, diversity, Romans, humour, decisions.
Children’s book title: My Family and Other Romans.
Children’s author: Marie Basting.
Genre: Children’s fiction, History, Humour.
Published by: Chicken House.
Recommended for children aged: 8-12-years-old.
First published: Paperback June 2023.
This children’s book is ideal for: imagining Roman History through a modern child’s eyes and appreciating people’s innate talents. It also reminds us that not everyone spends their free time in front of a screen.
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Silvia Fortuna Juno De Luca (Livi) has a name to amaze but that’s only half her story as she’s about to find out. Her dad is a huge Live Action Role Play (LARP) fan, and Roman re-enactments are his favourite. Silvia loves her dad and joins in with all his role-play adventures with great enthusiasm, enjoying his company and expertise as she does so. But her mum hasn’t been around forever so Livi has no idea what she likes.
When her dad disappears just before the opening of his biggest LARP project so far, Livi finds herself looking for him in circumstances that almost defy belief. As an amazing adventure begins to unfold, Livi isn’t sure how to decide what to do next, especially as there could be far-reaching consequences whatever happens. Discovering she’ll need her two worlds to collide if anything is ever going return to how it was doesn’t make her decisions any easier to make. But she does realise that, finally, it’s all down to her!
A fun and funny journey through the Roman Empire and some of its better and lesser-known gods and goddesses, My Family and Other Romans catapults the reader into the enthusiastic world of modern-day historical re-enactment. Aimed at the 8-plus age range, it is an easy read but is no less informative for that. It highlights how talents don’t just have to be academic or athletic to be worth pursuing and how everyone has something they’re good at.
Livi and her dad’s favourite pastime isn’t necessarily the same as her friends but, for the most part, she’s Ok with this. The author shows how this is perfectly acceptable and how Livi gradually realises this for herself. Reading the story will encourage discussion about what is cool and what’s not, alongside promoting the enjoyment of different activities with different groups of friends or family.
- Read a sample chapter.
Many thanks to Chicken House for the review copy.
My Family and Other Romans by Marie Basting you might also like: our reviews of Circus Maximus: Rider of the Storm by Annelise Gray, Vita and the Gladiator by Ally Sherrick, Adventures in Time: Alexander the Great By Dominic Sandbrook, Our Beautiful Game by Lou Kuenzler, Time School: We Will Honour Them by Nikki Young and Darwin’s Dragons by Lindsay Galvin.
Browse our list of Romans topic books