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The Bronze Bow Paperback – September 1, 1997


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The Bronze Bow + Carry On, Mr. Bowditch + Amos Fortune, Free Man (Newbery Library, Puffin)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395137195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395137192
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A dramatic, deeply felt narrative whose characters and message will long be remembered." Booklist, ALA

About the Author

"I was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, on November 21, 1908. I have lived all my life in New England, and though I love to travel I can't imagine ever calling any other place on earth home. Since I can't remember a time when I didn't intend to write, it is hard to explain why I took so long getting around to it in earnest. But the years seemed to go by very quickly. In 1936 I married Alden Speare and came to Connecticut. Not till both children were in junior high did I find time at last to sit down quietly with a pencil and paper. I turned naturally to the things which had filled my days and thoughts and began to write magazine articles about family living. Then one day I stumbled on a true story from New England history with a character who seemed to me an ideal heroine. Though I had my first historical novel almost by accident it soon proved to be an absorbing hobby." Elizabeth George Speare (1908-1994) won the 1959 Newbery Medal for THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND, and the 1962 Newbery Medal for THE BRONZE BOW. She also received a Newbery Honor Award in 1983, and in 1989 she was presented with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her substantial and enduring contribution to children’s literature.

More About the Author

"I was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, on November 21, 1908. I have lived all my life in New England, and though I love to travel I can't imagine ever calling any other place on earth home. Since I can't remember a time when I didn't intend to write, it is hard to explain why I took so long getting around to it in earnest. But the years seemed to go by very quickly. In 1936 I married Alden Speare and came to Connecticut. Not till both children were in junior high did I find time at last to sit down quietly with a pencil and paper. I turned naturally to the things which had filled my days and thoughts and began to write magazine articles about family living. Then one day I stumbled on a true story from New England history with a character who seemed to me an ideal heroine. Though I had my first historical novel almost by accident it soon proved to be an absorbing hobby." Elizabeth George Speare (1908-1994) won the 1959 Newbery Medal for THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND, and the 1962 Newbery Medal for THE BRONZE BOW. She also received a Newbery Honor Award in 1983, and in 1989 she was presented with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her substantial and enduring contribution to children's literature.

Customer Reviews

As with a lot of the books that we read its a slow start.
Karen Foshay
The Bronze Bow A great story about a boy named Daniel that hates romans because the romans came to isreal and now controls isreal but also killed daniel's parents.
amanree3
This book, although written for older children, is enjoyable for adults as well.
Sandra Brazier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 147 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was first introduced to this book in my 8th grade English class. I enjoyed it so much then, I went out and read the author's other books. I recently picked this one up again and was amazed at how powerful it still was to me.
The story concerns Daniel, a young Jew at the time of Christ. He has an intense hatred of the Romans and lives with in an outlaw band in the hills. When his grandmother dies, he must move to the village to take care of his sister while trying to continue his life's mission of driving the Romans back to Rome. He is drawn to the miracle worker, but just doesn't know what he truly thinks about him. Is he the Messiah sent to free them from the Romans? And will his sister ever recover?
Ms. Speare was able to create a complex plot that is simple enough for her target age to understand, but still captivating to adults. I got so caught up in the events when I was rereading that I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this children's novel to readers of all ages.
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104 of 112 people found the following review helpful By A reader in Texas on November 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am an adult godfather always looking for good books for my young friends. This is one of my three best finds in years. (The others were The Witch of Blackbird Pond, also by Elizabeth Speare, and A Line In The Sand, the Alamo diary in the Dear America series.)
The story is told in the time of Jesus in a village near where Jesus teaches those who come to hear him. Daniel, a young outcast, is sworn to fight the Romans with the goal of throwing them out of the land altogether. There are many other young men who want to do the same thing, but they need a leader. What they do, how they prepare, their speculation whether the new teacher Jesus may be that leader, and most of all, Daniel's struggles between his oath and what Jesus has said to him, are the story.
This is not a religious book, though its end point is the second great commandment Jesus gave (Matthew 22:39). It is a book about life in the time, the unrest and resistance of many Jews to Roman rule, the confusion of many Jews looking for a military messiah trying to decide if Jesus could be that man. But more than that, it is like any other moral tale of any other time, a story of a man trying to decide what is the right thing for him to do.
It is not simplistic, I'm 57 and I read it entirely, but neither is it difficult reading. I strongly recommend it for anyone from 9 years on.
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75 of 81 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
When I first received the book in my grade eight class, I thought, oh man, another book that will have no affect on me whatsover, etc etc. I was wrong. Though it took quite a few chapters to find out what the bronze bow was, I definitely feel that it's one of the best books I've read. The author, Elizabeth George Speare, portrayed the characters, especially Daniel, very, very well. I couldn't put the book down! Soon it didn't become just a reading homework assignment. While reviewing the book and making up questions, I found it very interesting, the way love was shown. Jesus' love was quite evident and I loved the way Daniel was drawn to Him. As a Christian, I belive Jesus was portrayed very well. The plot was good, new problems peaking around every corner, and Samson really touched my heart :). I recommend it for anyone my age to 90! Also, in the book it shows that love can overcome war and hate that Daniel has towards the Romans. Hate can try to bend a bow of bronze (taken from a psalm of David, this was there "password"), but love does a much better job. :)
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
Imagine your father taken away and killed by the Romans. Could you ever forgive them? When this happens to Daniel's family, it leaves his sister traumatized and Daniel with a fiery hatred for the Romans. The Bronze Bow is not only historically correct; it is also exciting! This book completely uses all the reader's emotions throughout the story line and it draws the reader into the story.

In The Bronze Bow, Daniel, a Jewish boy, despises Roman rule. After Daniel witnesses his father's crucifixion and watches his mother die of a broken heart, he retreats to the mountains. There he joins a notorious gang that robs people to gain money for armor and weaponry to free Israel. Daniel meets up with some old friends and they recruit a small group of boys who, with Daniel, hope to avenge his parent's deaths and rid the Holy Land of Romans. But then Daniel faces the hardest decision of his life: should he love and forgive the Romans or hate them?

The character development in The Bronze Bow is tremendous. Two of my favorite characters are Daniel and Joel. Daniel is an eighteen-year-old Jewish boy seeking revenge. He is hateful yet finds himself questioning his anger for the Romans. Joel is a seventeen-year-old Jewish boy that is thoughtful, loyal, and kind. Joel wants to solve the Roman/Israeli conflict with words, not force. In this story the reader becomes part of Daniel and Joel's group of friends.

Elizabeth George Speare, the author of The Bronze Bow, was born in Melrose, Massachusetts in 1908. She has won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and two Newbery Medals for The Bronze Bow and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. She has also won a Newbery Honor Medal for The Sign of the Beaver.
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