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A relay of courageous adventure-seekers forms caravans to transport precious items including a special blue silk along the Silk Road in the year 100 A.D.
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Grade 4-7. Long before Marco Polo's time, caravans crossed the deserts and mountains between China and the Roman empire to trade their wares of carved jade, silk, and bronze. This story follows the adventures and hardships of caravan members and merchants on the Silk Road from Changan in China to Alexandria, and finally to Rome. Each person's story is ingeniously connected by a bolt of fine blue silk that becomes a special trade item for each main character, symbolizing the means to obtain some personal dream. From Han Tzu, a caravan leader, to Egyptian trader Firmus Parro, readers learn about each individual's culture, everyday life on the road, and the traders' common experiences along way. That special blue silk is finally purchased in the Roman markets by Julia Sabina to make clothing for her wedding. It's a clever way to tie these ancient cultures together, and it is clear that the author has done a great deal of research on this period. However, the writing is stilted at times, lacking a natural flow, and character development is slight. On the plus side, there are interesting episodes along the journey, good period background, and an interesting plot.?Cynthia M. Sturgis, Ledding Library, Milwaukee, OR
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The fictionalized backbone of this engaging and informative first novel in the Adventures in Time series is the journey, 2,000 years ago, of a single bolt of blue silk from China to Rome. A likable set of characters appears on each leg of the silk's travels (illustrated in a series of handsome black-and- white maps)--from Changan to Merv, Merv to Palmyra, Palmyra to Petra, Petra to Alexandria, and finally on to Rome. Among the players is Han Tzu, the first to trade the silk, who sets out on his caravan as leader, leaving behind a bitter family. Young Pacorus, next to handle the bolt, takes his first steps toward becoming a trader at the age of 11. Fiesty Julia Sabina, a young Roman noblewoman, is the last to purchase the silk, which is to be made into her wedding dress. Schneider is adept at coloring ancient Rome and China with vivid descriptions; her attention to detail extends to authentic and pungent cuisines, to the evoking of a blistering sand storm, and to the use of technology appropriate to the era. Readers will share in the anticipation as 60 men, their camels, and 30 pack animals prepare to begin their trek. In short, this is history brought joyfully to life. (Fiction. 11-14) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Carolrhoda Books, 1996. Library Binding. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110876146493