October 03, 2007

Review:The Bronze Bow

The Bronze Bow
by Elizabeth George Speare
254 pages
First Sentence:
A boy stood on the path of the mountain overlooking the sea.

Daniel is a boy of 18 who pledges to destroy the Roman rule over his naive land of Galilee after witnessing the death of his father at the hands of Roman soldiers. He is a Zealot who has joined the band of robbers who live in the mountains, pillaging the village to amass goods "for the cause." Along his journey he meets and listens to Jesus but doesn't understand his message. When his closes friend is taken captive and the head of the band of robbers refuses to do anything about it Daniel attempts to fight the Romans himself with a few youths from the town. In the face of what feels like defeat Daniel learns the valuable lesson that Jesus has for him.

This book reads very fast for it's size. I was endeared to Daniel for all he has had to suffer. I rooted for him as he tried to determine what was the right path. I watched him mature in the way most young people mature, through the hard knocks of life. Jesus' message, while personal for Daniel, is a good message for many of us struggling in the world. Each of us has our own sacrifices to make. Until we make them for ourselves we cannot hope to serve God effectively. This story seemed very plausible and was heartwarming and encouraging.

While the book involves Jesus and some Scripture it is not about them. It is about Daniel and how he grows into manhood. I didn't think it preachy but being a christian I cannot have a completely unbiased viewpoint. If you are an Atheist you probably won't bother to read it. But if you are just someone who hasn't given God a lot of thought but you care about self-improvement then you can be encouraged by this book too.

I read this as my 4th book for the Newbery Challenge and the Book Awards Reading Challenge. I'm sure glad I did. Other works by Speare that are good reading are Calico Captive, The Witch of Blackbird Pond(another Newbery winner) and The Sign of the Beaver.

15 comments:

alisonwonderland said...

i haven't read this book for a very long time, but i remember loving it. i'm going to have to read it again! thanks for the good review!

Petunia said...

My pleasure. =)

Booklogged said...

Sounds like a good one for my list. I've enjoyed every Newbery I've read so far.

Petunia said...

Me too. I think when I'm done reading all the Newbery Award winners I will go back and read the Newbery Honor books.

Anonymous said...

I am reading this book and it is fasinating. I enjoy this book

Jeane said...

I liked this book. I had never read a book before placed in Jesus' time without having Christianity being the focus of the book. Even though that was the predominant message in the end.

Courty said...

I am currently reading this book and really enjoy it. I like it more in the end than in the beginning. I am working on a 3 page essay and that is not fun!!:)

Kyle Hornback said...

Hey, I am 12 years old and I go to a private school and we are reading this in class. (We wouln't be able to read it if we didn't go to a Christian school.) I think that this is a very good book and very well-written. Right now I am on chapter 17 and so far it is good. But, my very most favorite semi-religious book I have ever read is called A Fathers Promise. We also read this book in class and it was absolutely amazing. It is slow at the begining but it gets so good. It is not coming from a Christian point-of-view but more as a Jewish point-of-view. I like this because, one, I love to learn about other religions and two, My favorite thing I ever learned about in school besides science was the Hollicost, which is the main point of this story. Go to http://notingbooks.blogspot.com/2007/01/fathers-promise.html
to learn more. And I deffinetly suggest this book for kids ages 9-12 and any adult!!

Anonymous said...

Hey!i am in 6th grde and am doing an essay on this great book.its a bit challenging since the book has so much info in it.but i am optomistic!

Anonymous said...

i need a chapter by chapter info on this interesting book

Anonymous said...

I feel like the story line is dragging on. The Bronze Bow is a very good book but it is not a recommendation from me to read.

Jordan said...

I do book reviews for the newspaper and I'm thinking on doing this book.

Anonymous said...

i think the themes in this book are amazing and how the author shows how Daniel faces his hatred and fear towards the Romans. I kind of disagree with Daniel's last choice of following Jesus because Jesus dosn't understand the pain Daniel has to face. Just because everyone is on Jeusus's side, dosn't mean he has to agree with Jesus and do it the PEACEFUL way. A violent way may work too.

Bekah said...

i absolutely love this book!! i got chills when i read in the end the part where daniel looks back at jesus and then tells the roman to come into his house. its so inspiring in many ways to me! i just finished it and i wouldnt mind reading it again right now! i defenely recommend it to anyone...its good for people to read even if they arent christians.

Anonymous said...

awesome book. just finished reading it. if you havent read it....youre missing out