K A Gerrard (text) & Emma Dodd (illustrations)(Templar)

While doing an errand for his mum, Charlie and his dog Bandit fall down a hole and find themselves transported back in time to ancient Rome, at the time of Hadrian’s rule. He soon meets Cosmo, a young Roman boy, son of a senator, and finds himself in the midst of a plot to do away with of Cosmo and his father, as well as the excitement of taking part in a chariot race. Will he defeat the evil Porcus and Grumlo, and will he find his way home?
This graphic novel for young readers provides a great mix of adventure and humour with a great historical edge, and will appeal to a range of reading abilities. There is a section at the end of the book called Charlie’s Notebook which gives more detailed information of some of the aspects of Roman life showcased in the story. This could be useful within an educational context, with specific support to the primary curriculum – I certainly would have loved to learn about the Romans that way!

This new series will delight dedicated fans of comics as well as newcomers to the genre. I really like Emma Dodd’s style of illustration, and although her illustrations are very different in this specific title, they retain the bold and bright style that we have got used to. I think that it works very well however for a graphic novel for younger readers. Getting used to this format can be quite confusing at first and an uncluttered style will undoubtedly help the audience get accustomed to this format.

This first book in a new series is a great addition to the growing market of comics and graphic novels for younger readers (at last!), and definitely one to use as an introduction to this format.

Sent for review by publisher