There are times when perhaps you are feeling a tad jaded or tired when it is just so nice to relax with a well-written children’s book. And no one wrote historic children’s fiction better than Rosemary Sutcliff (who died in 1992).
This is the story of Boudicca, the Queen of the Iceni Tribe. Her childhood is touched on with images of how life was run in those far off days. Then we have the tale of Rome’s greed and Boudicca’s terrible retribution. This is surely a tale that every English child should know – and told in this way, it is memorable and exciting to read.
In addition, there is a simple map which is really helpful to set the scene. The annexing of land from the native inhabitants, in the Colchester area, by the Roman ex-soldiers reminds me of our more recent annexing land from the native Americans and Australians. Things don’t seem to change in some ways.
The writing is quite graphic in parts, but not more than the things children are exposed to these days, or that they can see on the news. The weapons might change but the people suffer the same. She manages to end the book in a satisfactory manner and closes the door on the final moments of Boudicca’s life in a respectful manner.
When you are left wondering what to read and especially if you would like something this does not challenge you, is easy to read you could do worse than reading some children’s fiction. And if it well-written and exciting, it doesn’t really matter whether it is StarTrek or history. And you might enjoy one of Rosemary Sutcliff’s other children’s books as I do.
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