Circus Maximus is a gripping novel set in ancient Rome, centred on the world of chariot racing. Readers meet Dido, a 12 year old girl who loves to look after the horses her father trains. Girls do not compete, but Dido nevertheless dreams of racing in the Circus. When she witnesses a crime she has to go on the run from the Praetorian guard. We follow her journey over the next couple of years as she finds ways to train as a charioteer whilst longing to be reunited with her beloved horse Porcellus. Meanwhile the unpredictable emperor Caligula has become obsessed with chariot racing, raising the stakes for all involved to ever more dangerous levels. The story wears the historical detail lightly but very convincingly.
Ages 8+ but really just as exciting for teens
Best Kids' Books of 2021