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How to Be an Ancient Greek Athlete
National Geographic's How To Be... series

by Jacqueline Morley
Illustrated by Dave Antram

      "Good at games? Eager to compete? Got what it takes to be a winner? If that sounds like you, the city-state of Athens would like to hear from you."

What a great way to draw a young reader into a non-fiction book about the first Olympics. How to be an Ancient Greek Athlete does just what is says: it "teaches" the reader what s/he will be doing as a competitor in the early Olympic games as if s/he were actually a participant. Taking the reader back through time to 450 B.C., author Jacqueline Morley explains the education, customs, sports and training of children and adults of that era. Filled with descriptive pictures and fascinating facts, this is a timely portrait of life during the first Olympic games. One quick note: although tastefully illustrated through carefully posed athletes, clothes were not worn by Olympic participants during the original games and there are a few revealing shots from behind. As the book is written for early middle grade readers (fourth grade and up), I would not anticipate this to be a problem.

How to Be an Ancient Greek Athlete presents its information in a way that will captivate even a reluctant reader and includes a glossary, an index and illustrations depicting everything from the bronze statue of a boxer, complete with broken nose and drops of blood, to a four-horse chariot rider coming right at you. Be sure to take the short interview (quiz) at the end, to see if "you have what it takes to" become an Ancient Greek Athlete.

The Book

Salariya Book Company LTD
May 13, 2008
Juvenile Non-fiction (9-12)
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The Reviewer

Marcia Berneger
Reviewed 2008
© 2008