CULTURE

Adventures of Alcibiades

Wondering how to get your children interested in some summer reading? Try «Young Alcibiades and the Olympic Games» (Kastaniotis), where Nikos Mouratidis combines ancient and modern elements. A children’s adventure set in ancient Greece, it presents aspects of ancient Greek society simply, for young readers. The book’s main character, Alcibiades, a lonely young shepherd who only feels close to his sheep and nature, suddenly discovers he is not the real son of the couple he believed to be his parents, and sets off to Athens in search of his real father. The book follows his adventurous journey to Athens, his impressions of the fascinating big city and his new friendships, as well as his even more daring long journey down to Olympia (including a dangerous encounter with criminals and an earthquake), where he also gets to watch the Olympic Games. Historical elements blend with fiction and aspects of modern society to capture children’s imaginations. Young readers will also enjoy the sense of adventure which is always present in the book, creating a constant feeling of anticipation. Information about daily life, society, religion and politics is nicely included in the narrative, especially because it is all seen from a young boy’s perspective. The book’s final chapters are dedicated to the Olympic Games and include information on their history, how the competitions were carried out and in what order, the rules and procedures, and the award ceremonies which took place at the end of the Games. Mouratidis has written numerous scripts for television programs and series, and received an award for one of them in 2001. This is his first children’s book.