Cover image for The bronze bow
The bronze bow
Speare, Elizabeth George.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1989.

Physical Description:
254 pages ; 22 cm
When the Romans brutally kill Daniel bar Jamin's father, the young Palestinian searches for a leader to drive them out, but comes to realize that love may be a more powerful weapon than hate.
Reading Level:
760 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.0 10.0 13.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.5 16 Quiz: 01593 Guided reading level: U.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Award Winners

On Order



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.

Author Notes

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 tosit 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."

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-9. The story of a young Jewish rebel against Rome who is attracted by the teachings of Jesus.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Elizabeth George Speare's Newbery Medal winner (HM, 1961) is set at the time of Jesus, when the Jews were among many peoples dominated by Roman rule. Eighteen-year-old Daniel has lived for years with a band of Hebrew Zealots who plan small-scale insurgencies against Roman soldiers and foreign traders while awaiting the Messiah. When Daniel's grandmother dies, he returns to his former village to care for his younger sister, Leah, a girl so traumatized in childhood that she refuses to leave the house or to be seen by any but her own family. Multiple political stories are entwined here, including that of the Roman occupation, the dissention among Jews who follow Jesus as his disciples and the Pharisees who eschew his influence, and the Zealot band who steal from their own people to support their readiness to defy the Romans. Daniel's growing interest in Jesus is portrayed through a traditional telling of several Biblical passages, including miracles performed before and after Jesus's 30 days in the desert. Speare's historical fiction is accessible to both Christians and those wholly unfamiliar with the personage of Jesus or the New Testament. Pete Bradbury's reading is as straightforward as Speare's narrative: both are marked by a deliberate delivery that unfolds the past realistically and sensually. Daniel, Leah, and the large cast who people this story with them are rendered with both humane and cultural accuracy.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.