BATTLE WITH THE BRITONS!  by Gary Northfield

BATTLE WITH THE BRITONS!

From the "Julius Zebra" series, volume 2
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

At the behest of Emperor Hadrian, the striped gladiator and his animal cohorts sail off to strut their stuff in Britannia.

Kidnapped from Africa in the previous episode and forced to fight in the Colosseum, Julius and his fellow captives have triumphed—but instead of the promised emancipation or even a vacation, they are packed off to misty, moisty Londinium to face local challengers in a Britons Got Talent competition. Intended to quell an unruly populace, the display of Roman might goes badly agley when the locals turn out to be tougher than expected. Along with comically violent, if consistently nonfatal, fights and many episodes of slogging through muck of one sort or another, Northfield adds line drawings of frantically gesticulating human and anthropomorphic animals to every page of the slapstick plot. He also supplies period flavor by numbering the pages in Roman numerals (adding instructions for adding and subtracting the same at the end) and slipping in Latin terms and historical detail. Finally the penny drops, and, realizing that all the gladiators are actually on the same side, Julius daubs himself with woad in solidarity and joins a rebel army that sends the Roman invaders packing.

Those treacherous Romans are ripe for a fall…and Julius is just the zebra to give them a push. (appendix) (Historical farce. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 2nd, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7636-7854-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2017




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