The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare

April’s book review is on The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Spear. Published in 1961, it won the Newbery Medal in 1962.

The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare
The Bronze Bow, by
Elizabeth George Speare

Do you take time to read the blurbs on book jacket covers? I don’t. My habit is to skip the fly-leaf and cover copy and go straight to Chapter One. The opening scene of The Bronze Bow whisks me into the story, where I find myself sitting on a mountain top next to Daniel, a boy with an attitude that I don’t yet understand as he watches someone approach from below.

I like the clarity, precision, color, and matter-of-fact narration. Set in the first century, the story unfolds with ageless themes – unmet expectations, sacrifice, forgiveness – in a style that’s fitting for the time period. Although I haven’t read many historical novels, this one makes me eager to read more of them.

Daniel set off long before dawn, carrying the cloak…The dark trails held no terror; his feet knew every jutting rock and turn. With the first light he left the mountain behind and strode along the level road through the plain. In the east a yellow glow began to gather, sending out long spears of pink and pale amethyst. From the olive groves came the song of a lark, rising to a think clear sweetness against the pearly sky. On every side sounded the urgent chirping of linnets and finches. Abruptly the sun burst forth.” (page 54)

Who would like this book
Fans of historical fiction, timeless themes, biblical settings, excellent writing – and controversy – will want to check out this amazing work. On top of everything else, it’s full of adventure. Kids who read at the level of chapter books will love it.

Happy Reading!

Posted on April 5, 2016.

4 thoughts on “The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare

  1. We really enjoyed this book too. It was fun to be immersed in first century, Roman-ruled, Israel. And the interactions with Jesus are well crafted. In fact, we checked on a few things in our New Testament that we had never noticed before!

    Thanks for blogging!

    1. I appreciate your reading and commenting, Laurie. You’ve got me curious – what things dd you check on in the Bible?

      1. I seem to remember we looked up sections in the Bible where Jesus was healing and sure enough it says he healed some (not all). Also, I think we were curious about Simon the blacksmith to see if he was in the Bible or not.

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