Danger in Ancient Rome (Ranger in Time) by Kate Messner

Published by Scholastic 

Summary: Golden retriever Ranger is back for his second time-traveling adventure, this time to Ancient Rome. He meets Marcus, a slave boy who works for a gladiator trainer, and Quintus, a new gladiator who is afraid he’s made the wrong decision. Ranger, whose search-and-rescue career was cut short because of his inability to resist squirrels, is able to use his finding abilities in a number of adventures, including a fire, Quintus’s disappearance, and the final brutal fight in the Coliseum. Despite the odds being stacked against them, Marcus and Quintus find satisfying happy ending, and Ranger is able to go back to his 21st-century family. Grades 2-4.

Pros: Readers ready to move on from the Magic Tree House will enjoy this time-traveling adventure that features a lovable dog.

Cons: Life was pretty tough there in ancient Rome. There are a few harrowing references to the public executions that preceded the gladiator fights.

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