I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79
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No one in the bustling city of Pompeii worries when the ground trembles beneath their feet. The beast under the mountain Vesuvius, high above the city, wakes up angry sometimes -- and always goes back to sleep.
But Marcus is afraid. He knows something is terribly wrong -- and his father, who trusts science more than mythical beasts, agrees. When Vesuvius explodes into a cloud of fiery ash and rocks fall from the sky like rain, will they have time to escape -- and survive the epic destruction of Pompeii?
being the author of the I Survived series and the critically acclaimed novels Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love. She lives in Westport, Connecticut, and can be found online at www.laurentarshis.com. Text copyright © 2014 by Lauren Tarshis Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Scholastic Inc. All rights reserved. Published by Scholastic Inc. SCHOLASTIC and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Scholastic Inc. First printing,
Festus’s enormous villa, one of the grandest homes in Pompeii. Where was Tata? He could be anywhere in the vast Roman Empire by now, from the rocky cliffs of Britannia to the deserts of Africa. His thoughts carried Marcus far away, until a blaring trumpet yanked him back. “It’s the gladiator parade!” an old man cried out with excitement. “It’s the fighters who will appear tomorrow!” People jammed the sidewalks, so Marcus could not get through. Now he had no choice but to put down the laundry
down the street. Marcus clung to Tata, his heart pounding in terror. He expected spears to fly after them, a dagger to stab him in the middle of his back. But the horse ran faster and faster; it seemed she was as eager to escape her life in Pompeii as they were. They moved so fast that Marcus felt as though they were flying. Closing his eyes, he imagined that this old white mare was the winged horse Pegasus, and that they were soaring through the clouds. When he opened his eyes, he was shocked
them of what is about to happen.” Marcus tried to look away from Tata, but their eyes were locked together. And Marcus recognized something in Tata’s gaze. It was the same determined look that Marcus had always imagined on the faces of his heroes as they prepared for their battles. Hadn’t Odysseus and Hercules risked their lives over and over? Hadn’t they plunged into danger without thinking about whether they’d come out alive? Marcus had read so many stories of heroic warriors. But it was
glued to the mountain. Which is why they didn’t see the golden chariot that had stopped suddenly right in front of them — or the pair of cold, pale eyes that glared at them. By the time Marcus saw Festus and his guards rushing toward them, it was too late. Penned in by the crowds, he and Tata were trapped. And seconds later Marcus was staring at the glinting tip of a spear. “Idiots,” Festus hissed. “You actually believed you could escape?” Tata shook his arm from the guard’s grip and stepped