The Bronze Bow awarded in 1962 to author Elizabeth George Speare was an excellent portrayal of Biblical times from a perspective we don't often consider. The main character, Daniel, is a young Jewish boy waiting for a great leader to rescue the Jewish homeland. His experiences and trials show a side of Jesus' ministry that is integral to the Biblical history of these times. To consider the daily life and agonies of the villagers occupied and often enslaved by the Roman legions was heartfelt and provacative. I found the following passage the most moving to me:
But Jesus said that the victory was God's promise. He called men to make ready their hearts and minds instead. Was it possible that only love could bend the bow of bronze? He sat trembling, glimpsing a new way that he would never see clearly or understand. We can never know, Simon had said. We have to choose, not knowing.
Isn't that really the heart of religion? We choose - we have faith without knowing. We will know all, but our hope and faith is our sustaining grace. When I worked with the Girl Scouts, I always told them that faith was at work when we took something that we percieved as really bad and recognized the good in the situation - seeing God's hand in the situation - accepting with faith that all will be well.
I also believe that this book would appeal to both boys and girls - the "band of brothers" fighting against the Romans for the boys and the love stories which are brief but significant in the story for the girls - no stereotypes intended. Overall, I really loved this book and felt that it brought some fullness to Biblical events. I suspect that this is a book I will read again.