Other Level E Titles:
Fortuna Fortibus Favet by Arianne Belzer is a choose your adventure style Latin reader for intermediate level Latin readers. 14 year old Antonia is the main character who is complemented by her 5 year old younger brother Crispus. A reader understands the intermediate level nature of this text early on as timeframes change quite a bit as Antonia and her family are introduced. She thinks about her parents in the present but a major event clearly happened in the past that dictates these thoughts and require jumping back and forth from the past to the present. Because of consistent sentence structure and simplicity offer appropriate support to the newly emerged intermediate level Latin learner.
We learn about the city of Sabiae and the small shop where Antonia and Crispus live. Conflict between siblings creates dialogue that guides the reader through 1st and 2nd person verb forms early in the story. The reader begins to choose the adventure at the end of chapter 1. The reader is introduced to simple conditions and imperatives in the adventure choices which are in Latin.
I decided to follow Crispus’ path to seek food because he is hungry. The tension rises immediately as Crispus becomes more demanding. Cleverly, the perspective of the chapter places the reader in Antonia’s place in the 2nd person. I find myself picturing my own children annoyed with one another as one begins to demand to acquire something she desires. Although the sentence structure remains simple and sheltered I notice an accusative present participle added to the description of Crispus as the reader, in Antonia’s perspective, observes him. Such descriptive language adds an appropriate amount of depth to maintain interest for the intermediate level reader without overwhelming him or her.
The story has the potential to take many paths through the plot. The siblings end up walking through parts of the city down by the port. Constructions of time offer the reader repetitions with numbers and add depth to the plot as the reader constructs the imagery of the story. At some point Mount Vesuvius starts to create tremors that the siblings feel. The confusion and tension created in these moments may create fear, excitement or wonder for the reader. Because the story guides the reader to be in Antonia’s shoes, the reader experiences the intense moments with depth.
Fortuna Fortibus Favet offers multiple progressions of a story in which an intermediate level Latin student can immerse herself. Offering Antonia’s perspective with a 1st and 2nd person perspective encourages the reader to become a part of the story. There are many intense moments throughout the plot that offer a reader who is ready for such moments excitement, fear and wonder all in one story. This is a must have title for a classroom library focused on student choice in reader either with a Free Voluntary or Self Directed program.