My Brother Plato

My Brother Plato

By Author / Illustrator

George Myerson


Historical Fiction

Age range(s)



Andersen Press Ltd




Paperback / softback




Potone lives in Athens with her mum, her stepdad and her incredibly annoying brother, Plato. The city is at war with the ferocious Spartans.  When Potone is not arguing with Plato, she is often overcome by her anxiety. Her stepbrother, Demos, a young man with fire in his heart and a thirst for battle, brings his war cries to the streets of Athens and the heart of their home. But Potone and Plato's constant bickering has set them both up to be very good at debating. Can she overcome her fears and find a way to bring peace to her home and her city?  Cover art by Daniel Duncan



Potone is eight years old, and her brother Plato is seven. They live in Athens with their mother Perictione and stepfather Pyrilampes. They have an older stepbrother, Demos, who is aggressive and unpleasant towards them.

Athens is at war with the ferocious Spartan army; Pyrilampes was a soldier who has been injured in battle. He is now working with the Athenian leaders to try and achieve a peace treaty with Sparta. Demos is against this idea, thinking it to be a form of cowardice to seek peace. When Demos accuses Potone and Plato’s dog, Tigris, of attacking him, Potone and Plato, who usually spend all of their time arguing, have to work together to try and save their beloved pet.

This is a cleverly written story which introduces young readers to Ancient Greek history. Potone enjoys stories and legends, and would love to go to school to study. However, girls at this time were not allowed to be educated, so she has to stay at home with their mother, who has taught her to read and write. Plato, on the other hand, dislikes school and grumbles when he has to go. The two children have to pool their resources, and their ability to argue, so that they can prevent their dog being handed over to their unpleasant stepbrother. Helped by their fathers' friend, Socrates, they speak on Tigris' behalf at his trial.

Potone is a funny and sensitive character, she has a strong sense of right and wrong and uses her knowledge of Greek law to help her and Plato during Tigris's trial. She and Plato realise how much they can accomplish when they stop arguing. The author gives the reader an insight into how the law worked at that time, and how trials were arranged and carried out. We are also treated to a very funny and exciting description of a visit to a Greek play, complete with heart-throb actors and some brilliant songs!

Potone, Demos and Pyrilampes eventually learn that people do not always have to agree, but can still get along with one another. The story is fictional, but the characters are all real people who lived in Athens. The author gives us a clever section at the end of the book in which he explains how much of the book has its roots in historical fact. This is a well written, exciting and interesting look at life in Ancient Greece, and, because of the humorous way in which it is written, will appeal to many children, particularly those in Years 5 and 6 who are studying this period of history as a class topic.

208 pages / Reviewed by Beverley Somerset, school librarian.

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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