Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

How to Be an Ancient Greek Athlete

How to Be an Ancient Greek Athlete

Jacqueline Morley
Illustrator:  David Antram 
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
National Geographic Children's Books, 2005   ISBN: 978-0792274438

Prepare yourself! You are being offered the opportunity of a lifetime: to travel back in time and to apply to become an athlete in ancient Greece. You need to keep in mind that though this is could be your chance to become famous, in Greece in the fifth century B.C becoming an athlete is not just about fame and fortune. The city states that make up Greece train their young men because it helps identify those who become leaders and because they want the men in their cities to be strong and able to fight in times of war.

You will not only learn to run, box, throw the discus, and other sports. You will also be taught many subjects in a special school and you will be expected to work your brain as well as your body. I am sorry to say that if you are a girl you cannot apply for this offer. Girls do have athletic competitions but the events are not as big nor are they given as much attention.

In this cleverly written book the author takes her readers back in time to ancient Greece. Readers will learn about all aspects of the life of a Greek athlete from early days of training to the games themselves; from what the athlete?s ate, to the way in which the races were ran at the games. Full of annotated illustrations and packed with all kinds of interesting details, this book will catch the interest of young people and show them that history can indeed be exciting and does have relevance in today?s world.

This is one of the books in the ?How to to be... ? series. Others in the series include ?How to be A Roman Soldier? and ?How to be a Pirate.?