Students of history have long been fascinated by the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The nearby volcano, Vesuvius, erupted in 79 AD, burying the city and its inhabitants under several feet of volcanic ash and sediment. People quickly forgot about the city, and it lay buried for nearly two-thousand years. As people started reading Pliny the Younger’s writings, they wondered where this mysterious town of Pompeii could be, but no one knew.
Pompeii… Buried Alive! by Edith Kunhardt enchants young readers with the story of Pompeii. Kunhardt covers the city’s entire history, from before Vesuvius erupted to when it was accidentally discovered and excavated to today, as an historic site in Italy.
She includes helpful pronouncers for unfamiliar words, like Pompeii, Vesuvius and Pliny, so a second-grade-level reader can read this book alone. One note of caution for parents of extremely sensitive children: many, many people died in Pompeii. Kunhardt describes the eruption, how the ashes buried people as they sought shelter, and how then lava poured from the mountain and covered the town. She doesn’t follow a particular family or child, instead describing it in general terms. Use your best judgment.
However, for most children, reading books like this one is a great way to foster a love of history.