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Pictures from Italy (Penguin Classics)

by Charles Dickens, Kate Flint (Editor)

In 1844, Charles Dickens took a break from novels to travel in Italy for almost a year. This thrilling travelogue is the result of his encounters with Italy’s colorful street life, the visible signs of its richly textured past, and its urban desolation. Dickens was particularly drawn to the costumes, cross-dressing, and sheer exuberant energy of the Roman carnival. Avoiding the traditional tourist sites, Pictures from Italy reveals the anxieties and concerns of its author as he presents, according to Kate Flint, the country “like a chaotic magic-lantern show, fascinated both by the spectacle it offers, and by himself as spectator.”

Roman Mysteries #3: The Pirates of Pompeii

by Caroline Lawrence

Suitable for Grades 4-7. It is a.d. 79. The Roman world is reeling from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Hundreds of refugees are living in a makeshift camp, trying to come to terms with what has happened. Then even more tragedy strikes: the camp’s children begin to disappear. Flavia Gemina and her friends Jonathan, Nubia, and Lupus are determined to find out more and start to investigate a powerful and charismatic man known as the Patron. A dangerous trail leads them to the caves and grottoes of Sorrento, where they encounter pirates, slave dealers—and possible death.

Roman Mysteries #2: The Secrets of Vesuvius

by Caroline Lawrence

Suitable for Grades 4-7. Flavia, Jonathan, Lupus and Nubia – friends and detectives – sail to the Bay of Naples to spend the summer with Flavia’s uncle, who lives near Pompeii. There they uncover a riddle that may lead them to great treasure. Meanwhile, tremors shake the ground, animals behave strangely, and people dream of impending doom. One of the worst natural disasters of all time is about to happen: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius!

Roman Mysteries #1: Thieves of Ostia

by Caroline Lawrence

Suitable for Grades 4-7. The place is Ostia, the port of Rome. Flavia Gemina, a Roman sea captain’s daughter, is about to embark on a thrilling adventure. Set in a graveyard, marketplace, and courtyards of a Roman city, this fast-paced mystery paints a vivid picture of the life in ancient times.

When the dogs on Flavia’s street start dying, she is determined to find out who is killing them–and why. Her investigation leads her to three extraordinary people: Jonathan, her new neighbor; Nubia, an African slave girl; and Lupus, a mute beggar boy. They become firm friends as they search for the killer, narrowly escape being kidnapped by a slave dealer, and uncover a series of burglaries.

Blue Guide: Southern Italy: South of Rome to Calabria

by Paul Blanchard

This guide covers seven stunning regions of Italy from Lazio, the section south of Rome, down to Calabria. Also included is comprehensive information on Naples and the islands of southern Italy–Capri, Ischia, and Procida. Southern Italy offers a spectacular array of sites, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Vesuvius. Everything from art and architecture to flora and fauna is covered in this detailed and indispensable guide.

Books by Kate Quinn

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Kate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance detailing the early years of the infamous Borgia clan. All have been translated into multiple languages.

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