The Bronze Bow

The Bronze Bow

by Elizabeth George Speare


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He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. –from the Song of David (2 Samuel 22:35)
The Bronze Bow, written by Elizabeth George Speare (author of The Witch of Blackbird Pond) won the Newbery Medal in 1962. This gripping, action-packed novel tells the story of eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin—a fierce, hotheaded young man bent on revenging his father’s death by forcing the Romans from his land of Israel. Daniel’s palpable hatred for Romans wanes only when he starts to hear the gentle lessons of the traveling carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth. A fast-paced, suspenseful, vividly wrought tale of friendship, loyalty, the idea of home, community . . . and ultimately, as Jesus says to Daniel on page 224: “Can’t you see, Daniel, it is hate that is the enemy? Not men. Hate does not die with killing. It only springs up a hundredfold. The only thing stronger than hate is love.” A powerful, relevant read in turbulent times.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780395137192
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 09/01/1997
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 44,477
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.63(d)
Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

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

Customer Reviews

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The Bronze Bow 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 155 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that The Bronze Bow was a very powerful book. This book is full of action, but still has a docile tone at times. It starts out with a young man named Daniel running from his past and seeking revenge on the Romans. He finally confronts his past, and starts to change from a savage beast into more of a respectable young man. Though a lot has changed for this young man he still has not quenched his thirst for roman blood. I give this book five stars, because it sends a very inspirational message, and has characters that you get attached to. I feel that anyone who reads this book will be captivated by it and will not be able to set it down. There is nothing that could be changed about this book in order to improve it, it¿s simply flawless. I strongly recommend The Bronze Bow for readers of all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Imagine being an 18 year old man in the old times of Jesus, being ruled by the evil Roman Empire. This is the life of Daniel, the main character in the story the Bronze Bow. '- God is my strong refuge, and has made my way safe. He made my feet like hinds' feet, and set me secure on the heights. he trains my and for war, so that my arm can bend a bow of bronze.' The book keeps you intrested as Daniel continues to try to gain power from the people to soon rebel against the Romans. It's in the first person view, and I do recommend this for young adults +.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it but its mostly for kid ages 10-20
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was lime the greatest book i have ever read. it reaaly was interesting the way they made me feel i was in those times myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't really like this book. It was just a little too slow for me. There was action, but it came in short bursts and there wasn't really anything to captivate my attention. The story was also kind of difficult to follow and some parts just seemed unnecessary. I would recommend this for people who are really into Christianity and don't mind a slow pace. It just wasn't for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for the first time in about 5th grade and i still remember it as one of the best books and most worthy of my time ever! I would put this book in the same position for young readers as i do to kill a mockingbird for teens and adaults, and consider it a very worth while read but easy read. It carries a strong message within a great story line and i hope that i can someday write a children or young adault book that can carry the same significance to someone else as this book did for me! I definately recomend this book to any worthy and adventurous reader :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was very well written, a story we al lknow from a very different perspctive. I reccomend this story to many people, and all have truly loved it. By and all regards to you A sixh grader named Hannah from Wisconsin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book, but I got lost at times. I was questioning if you could write a book and have Jesus talking to fictional characters. Its like making a fak event and having Jesus in it. Is that ojay to do? So this is why I questioned it. The book wad good, but i got lost at times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one odd book i mean really it ends at a HORRIBLE spot why did they not finish it is there a secound that i do not know about?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book filled with action, love, and romance. I request this book to everyone. Also it has a good lesson in it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Bronze Bow Elizabeth George Speare Houghton Mifflin Publishing Company Historical Fiction Many of us would give anything just to have been with Jesus Christ during his travels throughout the lands of Judea and Galilee. Well, Daniel bar Jamin got that chance. In the novel The Bronze Bow, by the great author Elizabeth George Speare, you will experience first hand the life of your average Galilean as seen through the eyes of eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin. As a young boy, Daniel's father was crucified by Roman legionaries. Now, ten years older, wiser, and fiercer, Daniel wants nothing more than to drive the Romans from the land of Israel forever. In the ten years since his father's death, Daniel has been sold into slavery with a blacksmith named Amalek, run away from Amalek because he was abused, and has now proceeded to live on a mountain overshadowing his village, living in caves with a band of outlaws led by a man named Rosh. However, Daniel is called back to his village in the wake of his grandmother¿s death. He can not continue to live with the bandits in the mountains because his sister lived with his grandmother and the sister now needs needs a caretaker. The morning after his grandmother's death, Daniel's friend Simon asks him to come with him and hear a man by the name of Jesus of Nazareth speak. Daniel is at first struck by this Jesus' words, but then Daniel does not understand them. This great novel then picks up its pace as Daniel attempts to find Jesus' meaning. This book documents the struggles of first century Israel, while at the same time spreading a wonderful final message at the end that all people, Christian or not, must recognize if they do not wish their lives to have been all in vain. In the book The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare, there are many different characters, each with their own distinct traits and impacts on the outcome of the story. First off, there is Daniel bar Jamin, he is the main character, but the strange thing about him is he is the story's protagonist and antagonist. He is always fighting himself like he does not know his own identity. At age eighteen, he is strong, sturdy, and cunning, these were very good features for Speare to give him as a main character. As the story states ¿He was a tall boy, with little trace of youth in his lean, hard body. At eighteen Daniel bar Jamin was unmistakably a Galilean, with the bold features of his countrymen, the sun-browned skin, and the brilliant dark eyes that could light fierce with patriotism and blacken with swift anger.¿ Daniel behaves quite strangely in the eyes of his fellow Jews, he is always scowling, he remembers some of the Jewish laws such of that of washing ones hands before a meal, or that of which that states that you must not do any work on the Sabbath. He acts violent at points but is quick to repent his actions. Overall, I believe Daniel to be an okay guy despite his controversial behavior. Another main character is Jesus Christ, he is the man all Christians believe to be the son of god. Speare describes him as ¿...slight, with knotted arms and the shoulders of one who has done hard labor from childhood. He was not regal or commanding.¿ Jesus is very kind and extraordinarily persuasive, for he can make people with great lives, and everything in the world to look forward to, drop everything, give up all of their possessions, their homes, and their families just to follow him and listen to him speak of the coming of the kingdom of God. There is also a group of characters of substantial importance, the Romans. The Romans are the conquerors, they rule over Israel with an iron fist. Their legions wander the streets like a band of thugs looking for a fight. The Romans are large in number and are led by their emperor, Tiberius. Although Tiberius never comes into play as a character, he is mentioned as being basically an extremely ignorant person. The Romans, overall, are r
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This look at the historical time period of Jesus Christ is full of the pain of living in an occupied country. Daniel is torn between fierce loyalty to his country and intense hatred of Rome, who killed his parents. He is responsible for his sister but wants to fight. He makes friends with rebels, but watches them become converted to Jesus, who won't lead Israel in rebellion. By the end of the novel, I wondered just how this story could end, but just as Jesus performed miracles for others, he performed one for Daniel. I liked the exploration of spiritual and personal freedom, as opposed to spiritual and personal bondage that the Jewish nation bowed under during this time period.
melopher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Junior Fiction that won the Newbery Award in 1962, and is still a great read. Portraying Jewish culture under Roman rule, this book shows the great contrast that Jesus' message of love brought to a young man filled with hate.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I certainly never expected to encounter among the Newberys a book of historical fiction where the main character meets Jesus!Daniel is a young man growing up in Israel during the time of the Roman occupation. Daniel wants nothing more than to rid his land of the hated Roman legions. He joins a band of warriors who are preparing an army to go up against the Romans, but, in time, he sees that the hatred of the band against the Romans is not conquering them. He hears about a rabbi who goes from village to village, preaching love not hate, and he comes to meet up with Jesus and sees with his own eyes the power of love.
t1bnotown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though the history behind this story isn't something that is a time/place that I'd normally be interested in, Speare is very talented and I could hardly put the book down. I wanted so much for Daniel to be ready to give up his vengeance and have something more in his life, and I read eagerly, hoping for that. Daniel had a lot to learn about the world, and it was a relief to watch him learn it.
tess_schoolmarm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I would reccomend this book to anybody, although specifically written for middle school children. This is on many public schools required reading lists because it is more historical than religious. It takes place during the time of the Roman Empire and their persecution of the Jews--this is historical. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, He is a part of the Jewish and Christian culture and it is appropriate that he be included in this story. I taught 7-8th grade for years and the students all loved this book.
robynkit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth George Speare is such an excellent writer that you cannot help but envision yourself among the people and culture she writes about. This book gives a realistic portrayal for children (and adults too) of what it may have been like to live in Jesus' time and to experience the upheaval and uncertainty of the era but to also be affected by Jesus' person.
patricia_poland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Winner of the 1962 Newbery medal this book follows a Jewish boy, filled with bitterness and hate for the Romans who rule his country, takes a long path to love by way of Jesus Christ.
goodnightmoon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I wasn't looking forward to reading this book... I'm working my way back through all the Newbery winners, and past the 1960s, I don't have much hope. I should have realized, though, that Elizabeth George Speare would deliver. I remember loving The Witch of Blackbird Pond. And wow! I can't even put my finger on what is so great about the way Speare writes. It's the description, sure. It's the way the exchanges between characters are so vivid. The events dovetail in a pleasing way. I can't decide - it's all of those things. Every night, I couldn't wait to read. My only quibble would be the rise and fall of action. Daniel is going to fight, no, he's going back to town, now he's back on the mountain, now he's following Jesus, now he's back in town... The arc wasn't as clear as it could have been. Overall, though, what a book.
BrynDahlquis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's not bad, but I was expecting more from the author of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I find it very hard to sympathize with the main character, Daniel, so I was indifferent to most of the story. Any characters I liked I ended up feeling sorry for because they always recieved the bad end of Daniel's serious anger issues.I do like the way Jesus was portrayed, and I don't think many people could pull off having Jesus be in a fictional book, but Elizabeth George Speare made a passable attempt.
readingrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting combination of fiction and biblical history for the YA audience.
Kateingilo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This beautifully written story is one of my all-time favorite books. An excellent use of historical fiction to portray the life of a boy at the time of Christ and bring out the reasons for Christ's coming.
Hamburgerclan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't intend to devour this book, honest. But the more pages I read, the more I wanted to see what happened next. It's the tale of a young man named Daniel. He's a Jewish guy living in the region of Galilee during the reign of the Roman emporer Tiberius. As the story starts, he's living in the hills with a band of robbers, having fled an unpleasant apprenticeship. Think "Robin Hood", and you'll get a picture of how the band likes to see themselves. Robbing from the rich and preparing for the day when they can throw off the rule of the accursed Romans. As the tale progresses, Daniel finds himself drawn back to the village and family that he thought he had left behind. These events and new friends challenge his views and push him in directions he doesn't want to go. It's a good tale which builds up a solid foundation of plot and characters, but then, towards the end, starts rushing along, practically wasting its potential. But I can forgive that because although the story comes to a screeching halt, it ends with a very satisfying conclusion. I'll have to make sure that this one stays on my shelf. --J.
CaptainsQuarters More than 1 year ago
Ahoy there me mateys! This read is long overdue. Having loved other books by this author, I always wanted to read this book but never did. I have to say that this one was not the best book in me view. This be a young adult historical fiction. The story follows eighteen year old Daniel bar Jamin of Israel. Daniel wants revenge on the Romans due to the death of his father. But he is torn between duty to his family and duty to the band of outlaws determined to wrest Israel from Rome’s control. While I enjoy the characterization of Daniel and sympathized with him, it was the pacing of the plot that made this less than fun. This story takes place over many years and the action is slow. Most of the story involves Daniel’s inner struggles. I think the problem was that I, the reader, could see the path he should take and then had to hear all the silly reasons why he didn’t. I still thought Daniel was wonderful and was rooting for him. It was also weird to read of Jesus as a side character who has conversations with Daniel and then saves the day. I didn’t mind the religion in the book outside of that quirk. I always enjoy readin’ about different perspectives and the book’s time frame with all the changes and upheaval in religion is fascinating. I do think this be the book’s strength. I can see why it also won an award Hate not love be the message of the day. While I think that be a worthy sentiment, I just didn’t love the execution of it. I consider it just okay. No regrets about readin’ it though. I now want to reread the sign of the beaver. Arrrr!
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
The story of Daniel, a teen at the time of Christ who is consumed by his hatred of the Romans. But as he cares for his sister and encounters Jesus, will his life change? I loved this book when I read it in 8th grade, and every time I read it, I'm pulled in all over again. Amazing and powerful.