Monday, August 15, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

The Bronze Bow
by Elizabeth George Speare

Flap Copy description:
After witnessing his father's crucifixion by Roman soldiers, Daniel bar Jamin is fired by a single passion: to avenge his father's death by driving the Roman legions from the land of Israel. Consumed by hatred, Daniel joins the brutal raids of an outlaw band living in the hills outside his village. Though his grandmother's death slows his plans by forcing him to move home to care for his sister, he continues his dangerous life by leading a group of boy guerrillas in spying and plotting, impatiently waiting to take revenge.
     In nearby Capernaum, a rabbi is teaching a different lesson. Time and again Daniel is drawn to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, only to turn away, disappointed and confused by Jesus' lack of action in opposing the Romans. Devoid of tenderness and forgiveness, headstrong Daniel is also heedless of the loyalty of his friend Joel; the love of Joel's sister, Malthace; and the needs of his own disturbed sister, Leah, dragging them down his destructive path toward disaster.

My thoughts:
As I read the middle grade novel, The Bronze Bow, it brought to mind images of the Bible stories made into epic motion pictures in the 1950's. Deeply spiritual lessons of love and forgiveness are challenged by the more prevalent forces of anger and hatred.
The author, Elizabeth George Speare, weaves this historical fiction with colorful characters and dramatic dialogue. The pace of the story slows a bit at times - but the overall narrative has a powerful message that is just as relevant today as it was in 1962 when Ms. Speare won the Newbery Medal Award for this beautiful work.

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