The Bronze Bow
This review was created by the editorial staff at Thriving Family magazine
This Christian book by Elizabeth George Speare is published by Houghton Mifflin Books and is written for kids ages 12 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
After his parents' untimely deaths, Daniel bar Jamin escapes to the hills and joins a rough band — led by a man named Rosh. They plan to conquer the hated Romans. Five years later, Daniel runs into an old friend and learns his grandmother (who cares for his younger, demon-possessed sister, Leah) is dying. His senses of guilt and responsibility lead him to return to his home in the village and take over his friend Simon's blacksmith shop while caring for Leah. Still driven by his hatred for the Romans — who, readers learn, killed his father — Daniel aids Rosh from a distance by assembling a band of like-minded young men to fight. But when Daniel meets a carpenter named Jesus, all of his notions are turned upside-down.
Set in the time of Christ's ministry, the book includes many accounts of His miracles. Jesus is a character in the story. His message and healing power profoundly influence the main character.
Other Belief Systems
Initially, every action in Daniel's life is fueled by hate and a thirst for vengeance. After meeting Jesus and getting to know Him, Daniel discovers that love is a more powerful weapon.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- While working for Rosh, what does Daniel feel justified in doing?
Is lying and stealing are ever justifiable? Why or why not?
Toward the end of the story, Daniel debates whether he can repay Leah's love with vengeance, since he feels that is all he has to offer.
- Is revenge ever a good idea?
If so, when? What does the Bible say about it?
What did Daniel's hatred do to him?
- What can hate do to us?
Can you think of a time when you've seen someone's hatred overrule him or her? What happened?
When Simon, Daniel and others choose to believe in Jesus, they have to choose without knowing what lies ahead for them.
How can you put your trust in someone or something that doesn't offer immediate answers?
When Daniel wonders why Jesus isn't healing everyone, what was Simon's suggestion?
Do you think Simon was correct?
Who may not want to be healed of their pain, sorrow or addictions today? Explain your answer.
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Readability Age Range
12 and up
Elizabeth George Speare
Houghton Mifflin Books
Newbery Medal, 1962