Title: Theras and His Town
Author: Caroline Dale Snedeker
Major Themes: Ancient Greece, Athens, Sparta
Synopsis: Theras experiences life as a typical boy in Ancient Greece, both in Athens and Sparta.
When we started reading Theras and His Town a week or two ago, I thought it might be too juvenile for my 11-15-year-olds. They ended up enjoying it, though, and when I offered the choice of reading extra in it, or reading from one of a couple of other books we had going, they wanted to carry on with Theras.
As the story opens, 7-year-old Theras is starting to school in ancient Athens for the first time. His father takes him to school, where he spends time learning to read, write and sing, and then practices sports at the athletic field. Another day, his father takes him to the Acropolis to worship Athena, and one day, Theras, now 10, ran away from home for the day. He little realized the danger he placed himself in by being alone in the city! The next year, when his father was killed in a battle, Theras was taken to Sparta. He hated the cruelty he saw there, and determined to run away and go back home to Athens.
Theras and His Town gives a good picture of daily life in both Athens and Sparta. It is simply written, but engaging all the same, with a good story line. I would recommend it to supplement any study of ancient Greece.
WARNING: The characters swear by their gods frequently throughout the story.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12