Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Greek News

The Greek News

Anton Powell, Philip Steele
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 9 to 12
Candlewick Press, 1999   ISBN: 978-0763603403

The editors of “The Greek News” have brought together all the best articles that they have published over the years to create this special volume. In it their readers will find accounts of all the most important events in “our history,” descriptions of everyday life, and lots of other bits and pieces that are entertaining and interesting.

They begin by explaining why the Greeks as a people colonized so many of the lands around the Mediterranean, and how they influenced many cultures because of this. Readers will learn how Athens once was a was a small unimportant place ruled by oppressive kings and how the people cast out King Hippias and set up a new form of rule in which the people were given the power to control their own government.

There are accounts of disasters and war, descriptions of people, customs, and places. There are also advertisements, a quiz, guides, programs, interviews, advice columns and more.

With great skill the authors of this excellent book give their readers a picture of ancient Greek history and culture. The newspaper format that they have created gives the articles, stories, and interviews a feeling of immediacy, of being in the present. We wonder what it would have been like to buy perfume at “The House of Perfume” on the island of Cos, and how much looms might have cost. What did women think about being left out of the political process and did they resent not being able to compete in the games? The reader is left with a sense that though things were very different all those hundreds of years ago, the people were much like us in many ways. They loved their sports, argued about politics, and fought with their neighbors. They wanted to have a safe and secure life and they wanted their children to have the same.

The newspaper type format in their book makes it easy for readers to dip into the book at random. Illustrations, advertisements, and decorative borders break up the text and make every page pleasing to the eye.

This book is one of the titles in the “History News” series.