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Book Talk for The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (Read Aloud Wednesdays: )

Leah Courtney
Welcome to this week's Read Aloud Wednesday. I'm glad you've joined us, and I hope you'll also link up your reading related posts below. You can find out all about Read Aloud Wednesdays in this post. On the last Wednesday of each month, I try to do a Book Talk, a look at a book we've read and enjoyed, giving you some talking points; so you can read and discuss the book in your family. Last month (January) our Book Talk featured The 13 Clocks by James Thurber.

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Product DetailsThe Bronze Bow is the story of Daniel, a Jewish boy who lives during the time of Christ. After watching Roman soldiers kill his family, Daniel was left with his aged grandmother and sister Leah. His sister, Leah, became withdrawn and had difficulty recovering from the event. Daniel's one desire is revenge, and he wants to get back at the Romans for destroying their family. When the opportunity arises, he joins a rebel band hiding out in the mountains. His goal is to join with these people to fight Rome. Meanwhile Daniel is reunited with some childhood friends- Joel and his sister Malthace. When he begins hearing stories of a man named Jesus, his bitterness toward the Romans is challenged; and Daniel has to decide if he's going to live with a desire for revenge or change his goals. We read this with an 8th grader, 4th grader and 3rd grader. Due to the violence described, I wouldn't use it for younger elementary students.

I mentioned in the last Book Talk post that I liked to use materials from Center for Lit to guide our discussions as we read. We follow the story chart that is a free download from Center for Lit when we discuss. I'm going to use those elements as a guideline to discuss The Bronze Bow.


Where does The Bronze Bow take place?
What is happening in history at the time of this story?
Why was there animosity between the Jews and the Romans?
Where did Daniel live with the rebel band?


Who were the main characters in the story?
What shaped Daniel's view of the Roman government?
What was wrong with Daniel's sister? Why?
What was Daniel's goal?
How was working to achieve this goal?


What kind of conflict do you see in the story- there is more than one (man v. man; man v. God; man v. nature; man v. himself)?
Why does Daniel not want to return home?
How does Daniel plan to get revenge on the Roman government?
What kinds of things happen to Daniel as he's trying to carry out his plan?


When the story begins who does Daniel see coming up the mountain and why are they important?
Why does Daniel end up going back to his home even though he doesn't want to?
What do Daniel and the rebel band do to the Romans?
How does Joel get involved with Daniel and his band?
What would you consider the climax of the story, the defining moment?
What things happen to change Daniel's heart throughout the story?
Why is the story called The Bronze Bow?


What are the main themes you see developed throughout the story?
How do those themes affect our main character, Daniel?

Daniel is a character that provides many good opportunities for discussion. Here are two printables that can guide your discussion. In this printable, you can analyze the character of Daniel and consider how he changes throughout the story. This printable character map (which can be used for other stories as well) allows you to list character traits for the main character of any story.

And now it's your turn. Please link below to any reading related post on your blog. I love to read and share links on social media. You can also grab a button below. Next week in our Read Aloud Wednesdays, I'll be sharing thoughts on one of my favorite resources- the library.

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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. She’s graduated two teens- one who’s a legal adult now! And she’s still homeschooling two middle schoolers. She loves all things book related, and in her- very rare- free time you can find her listening to audiobooks and coloring.


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