I could blame Miss Klemp, my 7th grade Latin teacher. I could blame Rome itself, with its fondness for blood and order and its dreary history of military conquest and bureaucracy-building. I've never been able to find much to engage me in a culture that found sport in gruesome gladiatorial spectacles and achievement in efficient tax administration.
So sorry, I've got nothing for you. Back when we did this unit, in the summer of 2009, we learned about roads and built model bridges. I found some general children's books on Ancient Rome but (no doubt thanks to my lack of enthusiasm), they bored the children to death; I tried a few books on Pompeii but realized quickly they had lurid descriptions of volcano-charred corpses.
We'll be returning to Ancient Rome, of course, when we cycle around for our second trip through this history, beginning next fall. So if you can dispel my prejudice and/or offer some great resources, please post in the comments section.