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Roman Diary: The Journal of Iliona of Mytilini: Captured and Sold as a Slave in Rome - AD 107
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Roman Diary: The Journal of Iliona of Mytilini: Captured and Sold as a Slave in Rome - AD 107 (Historical Fiction Diaries)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  123 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Relive the drama of the Roman Empire through the eyes of a young Greek slave in this latest installment in an acclaimed historical series.

Iliona never imagined that her sea voyage from Greece to Egypt would lead her to Rome. But when her ship is boarded by pirates, that’s where she ends up — as a slave. Separated from her brother, Apollo, Iliona is soon at the whim of her
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Candlewick Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Sep 29, 2014 Kara rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-ancient

Platt’s opening doesn’t sugar coat the reality of the ancient world as right off the bat the parents are murdered by pirates and the children are sold in slavery.

The brother is sent away to a plantation, and the reader learns later on how horrible that life was, but the sister gets it slightly easier as a house slave – the worst parts for her are learning the realities of the larger Roman world as she witnesses public executions, displays of empirical power and the sheer might of the Roman Empir
Camille Tesch
Sep 26, 2016 Camille Tesch marked it as to-read
Ages 10-12
Feb 08, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
A great way to give students insight into life in Rome around 98 AD. The story follows a young girl, Iliona, on her travels from Greece to Egypt. During the trip her ship is taken by pirates. Her parents are killed, and she and her younger brother are sold into slavery in Rome. Iliona becomes a slave in a Senator's house, while her brother becomes a farm hand on his villa outside of Rome. Through Iliona's diary, we learn about various aspects of Roman life: Slavery, Roman baths, aqueducts, ...more
Feb 20, 2016 Amrit rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
One of the most dramatic hooks I have read in a children’s book, Platt begins with the tragic murder of a young girl, Iliona’s parents on the way to begin a new life in Alexandria, Egypt. Kidnapped by Pirates, Iliona and her brother are sold as slaves and separated. Iliona is valued for her ability to read and write Latin and is a slave of a Roman Senator, whereas her brother is a farm worker outside of Rome. Set during the height of the Roman Empire, the book discusses the norms of slavery in ...more
Bruce MacBain
Mar 10, 2013 Bruce MacBain rated it really liked it
[This review originally appeared in Historical Novels Review:]

The subtitle of this illustrated children’s book is ‘The Journal of Iliona of Mytilini, Who Was Captured and Sold as a Slave in Rome, AD 107.” The intended audience is pre-teen and, considering that, the book is rather daring.

Roman slavery was not pretty—in fact, Roman society was not pretty—but the author resists the temptation to entirely gloss over the unpleasant bits. Iliona , a Greek girl of about twelve, and her little brother
Oct 17, 2013 Jaime rated it it was amazing
My children and I have enjoyed reading this book aloud together. It is not difficult for an independent reader to do some or all of the reading. A family can easily enjoy a page or more each day, sharing in Iliona's amazing journey in Ancient Rome. It is a large book with beautiful, entertaining illustrations. Adults and children alike will learn many interesting things about Ancient Rome by reading this well done book.
Steph C
Feb 01, 2016 Steph C rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Gorgeously illustrated and packed with details, this is a great book for anyone interested in Roman life 'on the ground' at the height of the Empire, rather than the impersonal century-spanning overviews of most histories. Any book about slavery for a juvenile audience must grapple with the challenge of how to present a horrific situation without sanitizing it, and Roman Diary walks this line adroitly.
Apr 19, 2012 Tessa rated it liked it
Shelves: school-books
Good story (although it ended kind of abruptly) and good pictures. An interesting read for a unit study on acient Rome - especially if you want to talk about slaves/children. If you're reading with young children, be advised that the bath scenes show accurate attire for the era, a girl's bottom is pinched by a lout and the word "piss" is included describing latrine duty. FYI.
Fred Kohn
Very nice book. The illustrations matched the story nicely– they were neither too simple nor too complex. Not for younger kids! The story opens with the gruesome murder of the protagonist's parents, and also contains an account of her having to resist the sexual advances of her owner's son, and an illustration of a haruspex examining chicken entrails.
Destinee Sutton
This looks like an unusual book. First of all, it's enormous. Second of all, it manages to be a little gruesome even though it's cartoony. Even though it's a fictional story, it seems like the kind of thing a kid could use for a report on ancient Rome. There's a whole section of historical notes and a bibliography in the back.
Ms. B
Apr 30, 2014 Ms. B rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2014
Gruesome and grisly, this one is not for the squeamish or sensitive soul. It is a detailed picture book of life in Ancient Rome. Those who are interested in ancient history will love it. It would also be a great class read-aloud for elementary and middle school classrooms who are studying this topic.
Jun 17, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Sonlight Curriculum
This book has large, intricate illustrations that will draw in young children and make them want to look hard to find the all the camouflaged details. Plus, the story gives a lighthearted glimpse into Ancient Roman civilization from a young girl's perspective that kids will enjoy.
Amy Berti
Dec 30, 2012 Amy Berti rated it really liked it
My 10 year old was studying Roman history and loved the way this book read like a story but taught her about history. The illustrations are also well done. Great way to learn a bit about life in history.
Sherman Homeschool
Dec 18, 2013 Sherman Homeschool rated it liked it
Shelves: ethan-2013-14
This book is about a girl named Iliona who lived in Mytilini, Greece and then her dad and family goes on a ship to Egypt. A pirate ship captures them and takes them to Rome to be slaves. The book shows what it would be like to be a slave in Rome in ancient times.
Aug 10, 2011 Theo rated it liked it
This was ok. I liked the characters but did not really like the diary format. it is about a girl who gets sold into slavery and this is her diary.
Aug 12, 2015 Yulia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for kids to learn some history of Roman Empire. Though it is a fiction book written in a style of a diary it has a lot of true facts about that period of the world history!
Oct 02, 2013 Andrea rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ages 8+
Relatable Roman historical fiction, with tons of accurate details about period life without feeling like an infodump. Realistic look at Roman slavery and the Empire.
Mary Mcclaugherty
Mar 09, 2013 Mary Mcclaugherty rated it it was amazing
This book was an absolutely wonderful way to introduce my daughter into the history of the Roman Empire. It inspired her curiosity.
Avery rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2016
Ella rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2016
Radley Kafka
Radley Kafka rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2016
Good, but some inappropriate content.
Holly Wood
Holly Wood rated it it was amazing
Oct 04, 2014
Sam rated it it was amazing
Apr 27, 2016
Laura Grace
Laura Grace rated it it was amazing
Jul 28, 2014
Gennifer Miller
Gennifer Miller rated it really liked it
Mar 21, 2013
Alice rated it really liked it
Mar 05, 2016
Burton19 rated it really liked it
Nov 12, 2012
Jo rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2014
Valerie Stephenson
Valerie Stephenson rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2015
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Richard Platt is the author of more than sixty informative books for young readers, and he also writes for innovative multimedia projects. Some of his most popular works have been collaborations with illustrator Stephen Biesty on the "Cross-Sections" series. After a failed attempt to forge a career as a photographer, Platt discovered that he had a knack for writing. "I started writing abou
More about Richard Platt...

Other Books in the Series

Historical Fiction Diaries (4 books)
  • Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess
  • Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht
  • Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter

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