Game On in Ancient Greece – written by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Bill Slavin

   Game On in Ancient Greece – written by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Bill Slavin, Kids Can Press, 9781771389884, 2019

Format: Paperback

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre: Time Travel – Historical Fiction/Fantasy

What did you like about the book? This is a combination of a graphic novel story with a nonfiction “guidebook” about Ancient Greece. Twins Josh and Emma go back in time with their younger sister Libby to Ancient Greece. They are trying to get to the first Olympic games, and encounter problems along the way and once they arrive. There is the expected humor between characters that kids understand and enjoy. A reader could only read the graphic novel story and understand it, but each page also has a sidebox from the Guidebook that they follow to help them get out, which teaches the reader a lot about Ancient Greece and how people lived. There is an appropriate amount of commentary about gender discrimination, including many times when Emma is disappointed she can’t participate in or attend events because she is a girl. There is additional backmatter in Q&A style giving greater context to Ancient Greece, as well as additional resources and an index. 

Anything you did not like about the book. Reading the book felt slightly choppy and random to me. The flow of the story could have been better, and the connection between the story and the nonfiction bits could have been stronger, but I don’t think it would bother as many kid readers as it did me. 

To whom would you recommend this book? Geared toward students in grades 2-4. Would be great for kids who like Magic Tree House, I Survived, or You Choose Interactive History Adventure books. Also good for kids who like nonfiction graphic novels. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians

Where would you shelve it? Graphic Novels 

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: Sept. 21, 2019


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