Escape From Pompeii by Christina Balit

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"And then, in one terrible endless moment, they heard mighty Mount Vesuvius roar. Its top exploded in a scream, and flames ripped upward to the sky. A massive cloud of silver ash rose to the heavens, twisting and bubbling in every direction until everything was in total darkness."

Tranio, like most Roman boys, likes to watch whatever is going on: tradesmen selling their goods, ships unloading their exotic cargoes, politicians making speeches in the forum. But one hot August day a very different scene unfolds. The ground begins to shake, the sky to darken. People run gasping for air. Heading for the harbor, Tranio and his friend Livia hide on a boat and witness one of the most terrifying moments in recorded history-the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the destruction of their beloved city, Pompeii.

Christina Balit's fictional tale is based on the latest research. With her dramatic illustrations and a historical note, this story makes an exciting introduction to a fascinating subject.

About Christina Balit

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Christina Balit was born in Manchester but grew up in the Middle East. She studied at Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art, and also attended Morley Theatre School and Questors Theatre School. She has exhibited widely and is also a playwright. Her books have won several nominations, commendations and a shortlist place for the Kate Greenway Medal. Kingdom of the Sun (written by Jaqueline Mitton), won the 2002 English Association Award for non-fiction.
Published October 1, 2003 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 32 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In contrast to the rather sparsely detailed text, Balit draws every Pompeiian cobblestone and street sign with fussy precision, meanwhile capturing a sense of period by placing robed human figures topped with tight ringlets in stylized poses.

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Publishers Weekly

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A conclusion presents Tranio and Livia many years later as they stand on the once-again fertile mountainside, portrayed in cross-section to show the city, and the people, buried beneath.

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