Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Shadow of the Volcano: Shadows From the Past, Book Five is an historical adventure novel for children and preteens written by Wendy Leighton-Porter. It had already been a busy summer as the twins, Max, and their friend, Charlie, continued to search for the twins' parents who were lost in time. They had already been to Atlantis, ancient Crete, Troy, and ancient Egypt, but each time they found that their parents had been there, but had left some time before. Now they were ready for another adventure, and they consulted the strange book that kept sending them out to find their parents. This time, they ended up in Pompeii in August of AD 79. The eleven-year-olds arrived and found themselves in a line of people on a dock. Before they knew it, they were sold as slaves, fortunately as a group and to a kind master. Still, adapting to the concept of being a slave is challenging, and convincing the friends they make during their stay and their kindly master to flee before Vesuvius erupts is even more difficult. Will they be able to escape Pompeii themselves before it's too late?
Wendy Leighton-Porter's historical adventure novel for children and preteens, The Shadow of the Volcano: Shadows From the Past, Book Five, finds the time-travelers in Pompeii, and seeing the doomed city and its inhabitants just days before the eruption is poignant and moving. While this is book five in Leighton-Porter's Shadows From the Past historical series, each of these books is complete and can be read as a stand-alone novel. I was fascinated by the historical aspect of this work as I was not all that familiar with Pompeii, aside from the tragic images taken after the town was rediscovered. The author breathes life anew into Pompeii, showing the likely culture one would have found there at that time in history. She also addresses the issue of slavery in an upfront and personal way by having her characters experience it first-hand. The Shadow of the Volcano: Shadows From the Past, Book Five is a thrilling and exciting read, and it's most highly recommended.