The Bronze Bow Literature Discussion Guide

During one of our years of My Father’s World in the elementary/middle school years, we read The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare. I loved this book set in the time of Christ. I read it aloud with the kids, and it provided some great opportunities for discussion. If you’re studying the time period of Rome to the Reformation, this is a great living book to choose. You can find a guide for discussion in this post. You can also pick up my free Graphic Organizers for Reading to aid in your discussion.

Discussion guide for The Bronze Bow

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The 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 His sister, Leah, became withdrawn and had difficulty recovering from the event.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.
In the Graphic Organizers for Reading packet you can find a plot chart that you can use to discuss these plot elements.

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. You can find a character analysis chart in the Graphic Organizers packet to use as you discuss him.
Discussion guide for The Bronze Bow

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