Reviews for Bronze Bow

School Library Journal Reviews 2001 September
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 Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.