Rarely do splendid characters reach across space and time, inviting us into the unexpected familiar of the past.

Living history books are truly great treasures and Caroline Dale Snedeker writes just such works. Mrs. Snedeker shapes and develops her characters with such vivacity that they come to life not only within the context of her stories but continue to exist long after the last page has been read. With her delightful weaving of history and fiction, she guides us through the winding streets of ancient Athens, the war-torn lands of Gaul, and the lovely solitude of old Nantucket.

Snedeker’s true love is the ancient world. Six of her books from American Homeschool Publishing are in that genre:, including Lysis Goes to the Play, Theras and his Town, A Triumph for Flavius, and The White Isle. Common threads of human emotion fill the pages of her works, connecting us in familial love, fear, pride, honor, compassion, and friendship to her vivid characters. Each story highlights the beauty found in the honor and responsibility to one’s family.

Theras and His Town (Ancient Greece)

Publisher: American Home School Publishing

In the pages of Theras and his Town, the young Theras is orphaned when his father dies fighting for Athens. More misfortune befalls Theras when a Spartan adopts him and tears the young boy away from his family and his beloved city. He plots his escape in the harsh landscape of Sparta, where all education is bent on warfare. Will he make it back safely to Athens or will more danger find this courageous young man? (Gr. 6+, 237 pages, PB, $$)

The Spartan (Ancient Greece)

Publisher: American Home School

This story is the tale of a young man who leaves his beloved Athens for the harsh brutality of Spartan military life. He adapts to the austere Spartan culture and quickly rises to fame. Because he survived a battle, he is disgraced by Spartan code and must flee the city with his mother’s curse upon him. This powerful story of Aristodemos the Coward recounts one man’s journey to clear his tainted name and legacy. It is during this pilgrimage that Aristodemos fully realizes his destiny to save Greece from the grasp of the Persians. Follow the courageous soldier from Sparta to Sicily as he searches to clear his tainted name and free himself from the bonds of his mother’s curse. Caroline Dale Snedeker weaves a fascinating tale around the historic battles of Thermopylæ and Platæa and the men whose lives were defined by these contests. A great addition to your studies of Ancient Greece! (Ages 13+, 374 pages, PB, $$)

Lysis Goes to the Play (Ancient Greece)

Publisher: American Home School Publishing

Lysis Goes to the Play involves a young boy who longs to attend an extremely popular event in ancient Greece–the theater! With his mother and father away, all hopes of going to the play are dashed until Lysis and his sister hatch a plan. Mrs. Snedeker artfully depicts ancient Grecian life, symbolizing the differing roles of men and women as well as free men and slaves, through Lysis and his relationships with family and friends. (Grade 3+, 62 pages, PB, $)

The White Isle (Ancient Rome

Publisher: American Home School Publishing

Lavinia and her family leave the safety of ancient Rome, exiled to the wilds of Britannia in The White Isle. As they make their way across Europe, they encounter many Roman outposts, as well as curious strangers before reaching the frontier country of Britain. What an exciting and dangerous time to be living in ancient England! The building of Hadrian’s Wall begins at the time of Lavinia’s arrival as well as the dawn of Breton Christianity. Will Lavinia cling to the traditions of Rome or will she realize her destiny in this distant and barbaric country? (Gr. 7+, 271 pages, PB, $$)

A Triumph for Flavius (Ancient Rome)

Publisher: American Home School Publishing

Snedeker delicately treats the subject of slavery in A Triumph for Flavius. Flavius’ father returns from war and presents him a captured Greek nobleman as a slave. Even young Flavius recognizes this man’s dignity and his right to live freely. Discover how the love of one boy can change the course of another’s life. (Ages 9-11, 87 pages, PB, $$)


The Forgotten Daughter (Ancient Rome)

Publisher: American Home School Publishing

Chloé is abandoned by her Roman father and made a slave on one of his villas, forced to live in a tiny, dark slave hut. Chloé’s only comfort is her late mother’s friend and fellow slave, Melissa, who tells the young girl about her Grecian mother. For years, the young girl existed only through Melissa’s stories and her own dreams. Chloé’s life is tossed upside down the day she rescued the young and handsome nobleman, Aulus, and life really begins! The unlikely friendship between the noble Roman soldier and the young slave quickly blossoms into love. Many obstacles lie ahead for the new couple, one of them being Chloé’s reluctance to accept and welcome the father she has bitterly hated. This amazing narrative on the life of a Roman slave seamlessly ties the studies of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome together and is a wonderful way to bridge these two civilizations! (Ages 12+, 206 pages, PB, $$)

Downright Dencey (19th C. America)

Publisher: Bethlehem Books

I could not put Downright Dencey down and when I was forced to do so, I could not wait to begin reading again! This charming story is set against the backdrop of Nantucket Island life where tranquility is disturbed by the War of 1812 and by husbands and fathers leaving families for long absences to make a life at sea. Into this world, we meet Dionis “Dencey” Coffyn who struggles against her natural tendencies and the Quaker discipline she has been taught. She risks her family, reputation, and the promise of a bright future when she vows to teach Sam Jetsam, a troublemaker and outcast, how to read. Will she lose everything or will the determination of one young girl change an entire town? This is a beautiful story of love, friendship, family, responsibility, and religion that readers of all ages can enjoy! (Ages 12+, 268 pages, PB $, .epub $$)

Here we share a biographical note fromThe Horn Book Magazine written by her sister, Nina Parke Stilwell:

“She was happiest while writing, for her characters were companions whom she missed when she finished her books. Before actually writing a story, she would steep herself in the background of her characters; then, as she wrote, they acted of themselves. The author could not force them to act contrary to their way of life. She studied Greek art, literature, religion, and philosophy for six years in preparation for her first book, The Spartan[1912], which was laid in ancient Greece. She was a student all her life, even during the latter part when she was bedridden; at 82 she published A Triumph for Flavius [1955].”