Lonely Planet Not for Parents (Rome): Everything You Wanted to Know by Klay Lamprell is a book aimed at the older grammar school student. Colorful and loaded with photographs and images, sometimes placed askew or presented with added thought or speech bubbles. The information given is somewhat quirky and even a little subversive, bound to appeal especially to boys although some girls may enjoy the book as well.
Throughout my reading, I knew that even when I was the age of the target audience, I’d have found this book immature. But then I realized that I grew up with a mother who regularly took me to museums and bought me books written for adults which I loved to read. Rome, as presented in this book, would have been too elementary, skimming merely the surface of information rather than digging too deeply with any one subject.
Even as I was reading, however, I understood that I was perhaps not the average 8 or 9 or even 10 year old reader and the intention of this book was not to give a lot of information about any of the myriad of subjects addressed. If I felt that the deities, architecture, and other subjects were not covered thoroughly enough (and I did) then I had to put that in a logical context.
Which is why I asked my son to look at the book for himself and pretend he was 9 or 10. My son, who is a reluctant reader even now when he is far from the target age group, said that he would have enjoyed the book. Seriously, this is high praise. He didn’t go into specifics but I think the offbeat layout and the quirky commentary appealed to his inner-child and this doesn’t come as a surprise to me in the least. As I said, while reading it I could imagine the reader for whom the author was writing; I just didn’t have it in me to remove myself and my perspective enough to know for sure that this is a fun little book.