Written by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Riding on the back of a griffin flying over ancient Rome, Nic escapes only to fight again. Without knowing it, the first time Nic saw, Caela, the griffin, deep in the gold mines, it scratched his back leaving the mark of the Divine Star. It gives Nic the powers of Diana, one being his ability to talk to animals. Magic travels through that mark, but even more magic strengthens Nic through the bulla of Julius Caesar that he found and kept for himself.
This is the first in a new series by the New York Times Bestselling author, Jennifer A. Nielsen. Ancient Rome comes alive through its treatment of slaves in the mines to its treatment of the animals being put to death for entertainment in the arena.
There are factions of senators trying to overtake the emperor and sometimes it all becomes quite entangled, just as it does in real life. The poorest of the poor hide Nic in underground water tunnels to keep him safe from those chasing him. They want his power, his bulla and the precious jewels hidden within it. But at the end of book one, the last laugh belongs to Nic. Except, of course, that it isn’t really the last laugh as even he realizes his battle has just begun.
Fifth grade readers, sixth grade readers and those beyond will strengthen their literacy skills while also finding out what ancient Roman life and government was like. History standards can be met by discovering and discussing this new knowledge.
It is an exciting new series. Many teachers, librarians and parents will be looking forward to the publication of book #2.
- Title: Mark of the Thief
- Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
- Format: Hardcover, 339 pages
- ISBN: 978-0-545-56154-9
- Genre: Fiction, fantasy, history
- Grade level: 4 to 7