The Lion in the Gateway
by Mary Renault
Subtitled, The Heroic Battles of the Greeks and Persians at Marathon, Salamis, and Thermopylae, this is a great retelling of those epic ancient battles which shaped the course of Western Civilization. All the great characters are there: Darius and Xerxes, the Persian Kings; the Greeks Themistocles, Alcibiades, and the Spartan for whom the book is named, Leonides, and many others. The book begins with the historical roots of the people of Ancient Greece and how they came to love their freedom more than anything else. Recommended for ages 9 – 12.