Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Bronze Bow

Reading can be a looking glass into places we’ve never been and times we’ve never lived. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare is a perfect example of that. The book was published in 1961 and won the Newbery Medal in 1962.

The Bronze Bow is an historical fiction mid-grade novel. It’s about a troubled Jewish boy named Daniel who lives with his younger sister and grandmother. The story takes place in 1st century Judea during the time of Jesus. Daniel’s father was killed by the Romans when Daniel was a young child. As a result, he’s angry with the Romans and his sister has gone mad. After Daniel is forced to work for a cruel blacksmith, he runs away into the mountains. There, Daniel is welcomed into a band of rebels led by a man named Rosh. Daniel lives in the mountains with the rebels for a couple years, but after his grandmother dies, he must go back to his village to care for his sister. Daniel takes over Simon the Zealot’s blacksmith shop after Simon leaves to follow Jesus. Daniel forms a band of rebels in the village, but soon discovers that their efforts weaken them, not the Romans. In the end, Jesus heals Daniel’s sister and Daniel gives up his hate of the Romans. 

I highly recommend this book to 6th graders.

List of Recommended Books by Grade:

2nd grade –
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Miss Holly Is Too Jolly, by Dan Gutman
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

3rd grade –
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Impostors by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater 

4th grade –
Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
Louisiana's Song by Kerry Madden
The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
The Golly Whopper Games by Jody Feldman

5th grade –
Benjamin Pratt & The Keeper of the School by Andrew Clements
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

6th grade –
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
Dewey, by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

7th grade and up –
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Pendragon Book One: The Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Seventeen Second Miracle, by Jason F. Wright