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It is AD 79 and Mount Vesuvius has erupted, destroying Pompeii. Among the thousands of people huddled in refugee camps along the bay of Naples are Flavia Gemina and her friends, Jonathan the Jewish boy, Nubia the African slave-girl, and Lupus the mute beggar boy. When the friends discover that children are being kidnapped from the camps, they start to investigate and soon solve the mystery of the pirates of Pompeii. A terrifically exciting and dramatic story packed with superb historical detail.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781842550229
ISBN-10: 1842550225
Format: Paperback
(196mm x 132mm x 16mm)
Pages: 208
Imprint: Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Publish Date: 21-Nov-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


US Kirkus Review » It's the summer of a.d. 79. Flavia, her friend Jonathan, the young mute Lupus, and the slave Nubia have lived through the eruption of Vesuvius. A camp has been set up for those who fled Pompeii. Children are disappearing, however, and rumors of slavers terrify an already scarred people. The four young heroes are sent to a lovely villa, home of the charismatic Publius Pollius Felix, ostensibly out of harm's way. Felix is called The Patron and at first they think he may be responsible for the missing children. His own daughter is spoiled and selfish, and a catfight between her and Flavia is the proximate cause of pirates' grabbing all of them, except Lupus. With Lupus's wily assistance, they instigate most of their own rescue, and Flavia formally frees Nubia. What made the two earlier titles so good was their fast pace and Roman setting: this one is marred by events and mindsets that sound a bit too contemporary; still, readers will want to continue the story. (glossary, author's note) (Historical fiction. 10-14) (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Caroline Lawrence

Caroline Lawrence is American. She lives with her husband by the river in London and is active as a speaker in schools and at book festivals. She took part in the British Museum's POMPEII LIVE event, giving talks that were streamed to schools all over the UK, and she is the winner of the 2009 CLASSICS ASSOCIATION PRIZE for 'a significant contribution to the public understanding of Classics'. In addition to the 17 novels in the ROMAN MYSTERIES sequence, Caroline Lawrence has written five spin-off titles, all of which have contributed to total UK sales in excess of 1 million copies. Visit Caroline's website at and follow her on Twitter @CarolineLawrenc.

Books By Author Caroline Lawrence

Archers of ISCA by Caroline Lawrence

The Archers of ISCA

Paperback, October 2016
Escape from Rome by Caroline Lawrence

Escape from Rome

Paperback, May 2016
Queen of the Silver Arrow by Caroline Lawrence

Queen of the Silver Arrow

Paperback, January 2016
Case of the Bogus Detective by Caroline Lawrence

The Case of the Bogus Detective

Paperback, June 2015