Romans on the Rampage

By Jeremy Strong

Shortlisted in Primary category 2016

1. Anton: I enjoyed the book because there was lots of action and scientific ideas. I liked the character Perilus because he was funny and very clever. I felt as if I was in the Roman times with all the characters in the book, it was so realistic especially when they had fights in the Colosseum. The book made me want to find out more about history because there was lots of things I didn’t know before and the book helped me to understand things more, as the way it was written was funny and not just full of facts as in a history book. I would love to read more books by this author, especially the books about Romans. My dad has already ordered the second book on Amazon.

I rate this book 10/10 because of the action and the interesting theme throughout.

2. Antonina: I really enjoyed this book and read it in only three days. This book is about a boy called Perilus and a raven his pet. The raven does not have a name. I think my favourite place was the Villa because it was described well. It has a swimming pool and a bush growing in the middle of it. WHAT A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE!!!!!!! Perilus wanted to be a charioteer…BUT HE WAS PUT IN PRISON BECAUSE OF MAD PRACTICING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His friend was an inventor and wanted to invent a tree that grows ships. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember this is not all the fun!!!... This book is so interesting I give it five stars!!!!!!!!!!

If you like Romans then take this book and read it but not too FAST …YOU DON’T WANT TO LOSE THE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3. Daniel: This book is set in ancient Rome. It is narrated by a talking Raven called Corvus, who thinks he is very clever and funny. He is the pet of the main character Perilus, who is the son of the head of the Roman Imperial mint. Perilus’ family are very wealthy; he lives with his dad, mum and sister in a large villa and the family have two slaves. Perilus wants to be a charioteer, much to his father’s disgust because he wants him to head of the Imperial mint like him one day. Perilus is only 11 and likes to get up to mischief which is probably why he wants to be a charioteer, one of the most dangerous jobs in the Roman economy.

The family live across the street from a house where lots of poor Romans live together, because they cannot afford their own houses. Including two ex-slaves: Maddusbananus, who wants to be a millionaire from selling his inventions and Scorcha who shares Perilus’ ambition to become a charioteer. Perilus often sneaks out to the house across the road to practice chariot racing with Scorcha and some borrowed goats. Many disasters happen to the friends until one day Perilus is called upon to save the day while Scorcha is in jail.

The book is very similar to other Jeremy Strong books. It’s humorous. He uses lots of funny names for the characters like, Flippus Floppus and Hysteria, who is Perilus’ older sister. It is easy to understand. The author is very good at describing objects, such as Maddusbananas’ inventions. The book includes some Latin words so the reader is learning as well. The book gives lots of factual information, including what it would be like to be rich or poor in ancient Rome. For example the reader learns that it was possible for slaves to be freed and educated and what wealthy Roman ate; ostrich and stuffed dormice! I think the book is accurate because it matched lots of things I already knew about Ancient Rome.

It was not my favourite Jeremy Strong book, because it’s not as funny as some of his other books (e.g Invasion of the Christmas Puddings) but it was still entertaining.

4. Ella: I really enjoyed this book, because it was funny and it was told by a Raven who is best friends with perilus. My favourite character is perilus as he is kind but also does mad things and always gets himself into funny situations. Perilus was very kind because when Scorcha was sent to jail he couldn’t race for the green team.Perilus pretended to be Scorcha and raced his charriot, Perilous also got to race which is what always wanted to do. I think  that the book is realistic because it was about the Romans and they liked to charriot race and also kept slaves to do things for them. I did enjoy the story but I found it hard to read some of the words and I would recommond this book for children over 10 year olds.

What Did I Learn From This Book? I learnt from this book…

  • Latin
  • A bit more about what Romans liked to do
  • A bit more about chariot racing


One of my favourite phrases in the book is “Can I have a biscuit?” I personally find it funny.

Weak Parts 

 I have read many of Jeremy’s books, and I find that his openings don’t grab my attention enough, but when I get to the middle the book becomes more interesting.

To Who Would I Recommend This Book?

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes history

I rate this book: 5/5 (five out of five)

5. Jo and Arturo: This book was set in Roman times. It has loads of fantastic characters such as Perilus the owner of the raven, Krysis (Perilus’s dad), Flavia (Perilus’ mum) and Hysteria (Perilus’ sister). The key events in this book are about Scorcha the charioteer getting sent to prison on his big day of chariot racing. It’s also about a raven that beomlgs to a family that absolutely loves biscuits. I think you can guess what happens in the end. If not I’ll tell you only a tiny bit of it though so that I don’t ruin it for you. Croakbag the raven gets as much digestive biscuits as he could ever imagine. I would recommend this to everyone in the world literally. Scorcha didn’t know anything about it but Trandia (Maddasbannanus’s old girlfriend) loves him and kisses him.

You won’t be able to stop yourself reading it because it’s an absolute page turner. Jeremy Strong is a fantastic author. Romans on the Rampage is probably his most favourite book he’s written yet. It’s definitely my favourite.

6. John: I didn’t like the book because it was difficult to follow the story line and I found it rather dull.  I was surprised not to enjoy it as I had read other books by Jeremy Strong before – like “The Hundred Mile and Hour Dog” which I really enjoyed.

The history contained in the book was quite poor.  It described a Roman family in modern times so it didn’t show what Roman times were like.  The author tried to add humour but I didn’t find the jokes very funny. The book may suit younger readers more (age 6-7 maybe).

The part I liked the least was when the author was talking to a crow from the past.  The book would have been better if the author had missed the crow out altogether.

This was the first book I had read on a Kindle.  My Mum downloaded the book onto her Kindle for me.  I liked clicking to turn the pages.

I am interested in Roman times. I like learning about Gladiators and the towns Romans lived in but I think the book didn’t inspire me even more.  To find out about history I prefer more factual books.

7. Kitty: Perlis is crazy about chariot racing. And is being taught by Scorcher [the best charioteer in Rome.] Unfortunately, scorcher has been sent to jail … even worse on the BIG RACE! What’s perilous going to do? This book is based in the roman period .I would also recommend this for [9-11] years. As this will make u giggle and smile for the rest of the day.

8. Muhammad: I really enjoyed this book because it was very funny, weired , and a bit silly. It's about a Raven called Croackbag who tells a story about Perilus who is  a Roman boy who likes chariot racing. his teacher is called Scorcha but what happens if she goes to gail on the day of the race.


I really loved this book a lot. My favourite bit is when the trumpets go BLA bla-BLAAAA!! Is it realistic

There's loads of ups and downs in this like there are slaves but on the other hand birds don't speck so its equal and so some of it is like the history of Rome but also other bits which aren't.

Weak bits

To me there aren't any.

Rating: 5 stars  I recommend it for older children.

9. Oliver: If you like chariot racing, daring stunts and drama then this is the book you should read next. When Croakbag (the main character) and his friend Perilus are getting excited for their friend, Scorcha, to be picked for the green team in chariot racing they are all getting excited about him winning the race for them. Perilus is wanting to be a charioteer as well so he tries to get Scorcha to train him. When only having nothing to use but two planks of wood and two annoying goats to train someone things go terribly wrong……

10. Samien: Romans on the Rampage is a fictional story but it is based on a real sport that was very popular in Ancient Rome, which is chariot racing. I enjoyed the story because I love reading and learning about the history of the world.

The book is narrated by a very clever raven called Croakbag and is about a very good charioteer called Scorcha and his young friend Perilus. Croakbag is actually Perilus’s pet but behaves more like a family friend. Even though Scorcha is an excellent charioteer, he does not have his own chariot, and Croakbag tells us what happens on the day of his big race. To find out what happens you must read the book yourself.

Croakbag tells us the story in a very funny way and the bit about the Emperor’s visit for dinner really made me laugh. His descriptions of the chariot races are also very exciting and made me want to read more. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who likes comedy, history, Ancient Rome and chariot racing.

11. Stanley:

I have been reading the Romans on the Rampage and I have enjoyed the book very much but sometimes found it a little confusing. The book is all about a young boy called Perilus who loves chariot racing. He practices with his goat and he dreams of being the best in the world like Scorcha. My favourite character in the book is Scorcha, because he is the world’s best charioteer. The book is a bit unusual because some of the characters names were difficult to pronounce and there was also a raven [a bird] telling the story.

The book did make me feel like I was in the roman times. I think that the history in the book is realistic, because of the characters names, the activities that they did and the description of their clothes although the story was sometimes a little hard to follow, but I did really like all the different characters because they were all very funny.

I would give this book 3 stars out of 5.

I like Jeremy Strong as an author because his stories are funny. I am reading at the moment his book called My Brothers Famous Bottom Gets Pinched!

12. Tai: This book is about someone fulfilling their dreams. This is a story is about a slave boy named Perilus who always wanted to be a charioteer. Who finally got his chance when Scorcha, the greatest charioteer in Rome, got put in jail on the big race day for stealing some goats. Perilus took his place and won the race, so Scorcha could get into the green team: Rome’s greatest chariot team. My favourite part of the story was the excitement of the chariot racing. I enjoyed  all the characters in the story but one of my favourite one’s was Perilus  because he is an intelligent ,interesting character and I also found the raven interesting because he was the narrator of the story. I would rate this book five stars. There was nothing I didn’t like or there was nothing I would improve about the story. 

I also found this book inspiring. To never give up your dream.

13. Tia: I really enjoyed this book. I think the book isn’t realistic but there was a lot of funny parts. I learnt a lot more Latin words from the book. I particularly liked Croakbag the raven. He, in my opinion, is the funniest character. Also, Croakbag is the person, that tells the story! Jeremy Strong is a brilliant author. I would like to read more of his books now! I loved his ideas and his books are amazing!

14. Grace. I did enjoy this book because there were lots of funny bits and it made me laugh. I think the funniest character was Croakbag (the raven) because he kept on saying, “I will have to check that in the dictionary”. I also learnt more about the Romans which I didn’t know before. Did you know that the Romans used goats instead of horses when they were first learning to ride chariots as they are easier to control!? I learnt a little a bit of Latin too which is really difficult. However, there were parts of it I disliked. It was very hard to follow in some places as it jumped between scenes quite a lot and some of the words were very difficult to say and understand. I also think that the author concentrated more on the comedy side to the story rather than the history. I would possibly read more of Jeremy Strong’s books but it would be for making me laugh rather than finding out about history.

15. Will. I enjoyed reading Romans on the Rampage as it was really really funny. We have studied the Romans at school recently so I knew lots about them already but couldn’t wait to find out more. The characters are really fun and they get in to lots of trouble, especially Scorcha as he seems really clumsy! The words are a bit tricky to understand but I felt that I learnt a bit about history. I really like chariot racing and like the big race at the end. I would like to read more stories by the author because I think they would be as funny as this story.

Previous page     Next page