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Vita & the Gladiator

Book Synopsis

A rip-roaring Roman mystery from Historical Association Young Quills Award-winning author Ally Sherrick.

Vita longs to write the plays that she steals off to watch – but as the daughter of a high-born Roman, her only future is marriage.

When her father is murdered, everything changes.

She escapes with her life – only to end up a slave, sharing a cell with a fierce gladiator, Brea, and her wolf.

But when Vita and Brea discover they have a common enemy, they know they must stnd together for truth and justice…

Our Review Panel says...

Utterly compelling, totally immersive, and completely inspired, Ally Sherrick’s latest historical novel is unputdownable. Set in Britain under Roman occupation, the story stars Vita, the daughter of a Roman magistrate. When tragedy strikes her family, she is confronted with a different world to the one she has known, as she experiences what life is like for those who are conquered, rather than the conquerors.

As Vita struggles to solve the mystery of who murdered her father, she must also decide where her allegiances lie. Through her journey, she discovers that people – like Brea, her gladiator friend – are not always what they seem at first and that there is often more that unites us with than divides us from our enemies.

Vita is a very relatable protagonist; honest about her fears and confusion, yet brave and fiery in moments of crisis. Young readers who are aspiring writers will also enjoy the fact that Vita’s passion is for stories – both hearing them and creating them – and that this is a central theme running through the novel.

‘Vita and the Gladiator’ is a perfect book to complement a study of Roman Britain for stronger readers in KS2, exposing them to a thrilling and gripping taste of what life under occupation might have been like. Pupils will recognize and enjoy the depiction of the gladiator arena, as well as the references to Boudica and her revolt against the empire. All in all, this read is highly recommended.

This book is available on these booklists:

Vita & The Gladiator Reading Guide

A resource pack provided by the publisher to accompany the book Vita & The Gladiator.

Vita & the Gladiator

vita and the gladiator

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