If You Were Me and Lived in … the Ancient #Mali Empire by @CarolePRoman #bookreview #kidlit

IYWM Mali Empire


Title: If You Were Me and Lived in…the Ancient Mali Empire

Author: Carole P. Roman (Author), Mateya Arkova (Illustrator)

Genre: Children’s Books, Ancient History, Mali Empire


Book Blurb:

Join Carole P. Roman as she travels back in time to visit the exciting Ancient Empire of Mali in Africa during the 1300s. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the past to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land and its rich history through the eyes of a youngster like you.


Don’t forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair time traveler.


My Review:

Carole P. Roman is back with one of her most informative and insightful books in her historical/cultural series to date. She’s thrusting us into the ancient empire of Mali in the 1330’s AD. So sit tight and travel back in time to 14th century Sudan.


Mali started as a small part of the kingdom of Ghana but soon rebelled against the government and became their own kingdom.


With strong leadership, Mali took control of trade routes and soon became a mecca for trade and wealth.


Many in the Mali Empire followed the religion of Islam.


Houses were made from mud bricks and adobe plaster. The earthen walls cooled the inside which was handy since there wasn’t any air conditioning.


Since there was no written language, history was told by storytellers (griots). They were well-respected among the people and the king.


The most respected job was that of the farmer. They tended the fertile land near the river and provided food for everyone.


Although Mali was known for its gold, it did not produce or mint coins. Instead, salt was traded for goods in the marketplace. Only the king could use gold nuggets for trade.


When I first saw this book, I had no prior knowledge of the Mali Empire. It intrigued me and I’m so thankful to Carole P. Roman for spotlighting this ancient empire. I learned so much, more than I ever thought possible, and I know many children and adults will enjoy this book, too.


While this book is almost eighty pages, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It’s stuffed with many fascinating facts about what life was like in Mali and a fantastic educational resource. Both classroom and homeschool teachers will want this as part of their curriculum. I highly recommend this one!


My Rating:  5+ stars


Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Were-Lived-Ancient-Mali-Empire-ebook/dp/B01N7OT0PM


Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33405623-if-you-were-me-and-lived-in-the-ancient-mali-empire




Author Biography:

Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born. “Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life” has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. “Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience” Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in… was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.


Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.



Her new non-fiction series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…” combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…Mexico” has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca’s Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and lived in …France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in…France for best in children’s non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year.



Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.


Social Media Links:

Website http://caroleproman.com/  


Blog http://caroleproman.blogspot.ca/  


Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CarolePRomanAwardWinningAuthorAndBooks  


Twitter https://twitter.com/caroleproman  


Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/caroleproman/


Reviewed by: Mrs. N



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