The Bronze Bow

Our rating: *****

After Daniel’s father is murdered by the Romans, Daniel dedicates his life to one thing: revenge against the Romans. He joins a band of outlaws living in the mountains who are plotting to overthrow the Romans and does everything he possibly can to satisfy his hatred. Meanwhile, in nearby Capernaum, a rabbi is teaching a different lesson: love. Daniel is confused by the words of Jesus of Nazareth, while still wondering if this could be the promised Messiah. The Messiah he had been hoping and waiting for was one who could conquer the Romans and drive them away. Could Jesus really be the Messiah? And how can love conquer over hatred?

This is one of my favorites of Elizabeth George Speare’s. The characters are portrayed with great depth and emotion, making them seem very real, and I found the story to be so extremely interesting that I couldn’t put it down. I definitely recommend this one as a powerful book.

The Sign of the Beaver

Our rating: ****

After they finish their cabin in Maine, Matt’s father starts back for Massachusetts, leaving twelve year old Matt behind to guard the cabin. Matt has fun living by himself, until he tackles a nest of bees. An old Indian chief and his grandson Attean have been watching him and decide to help Matt out. In return, Matt agrees to teach Attean to read and speak English. The two boys resent the forced friendship at first, but end up doing everything together. What will Matt do when his father returns?

Well, this is a great book. I gave it four stars, because it’s a bit slow at the start, but it picks up later. You will learn a lot of interesting things about Pioneers and Indians. There was a TV movie of this book called Keeping the Promise, but I haven’t seen it.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Our rating: *****

Kit Tyler has left her house in Barbados and has come to live with her aunt’s family in colonial Connecticut. But everything seems so different that Kit, unaccustomed to the strict Puritanical lifestyle, can’t seem to do anything right. Soon, however, she finds a friend in Hannah Tupper, a sweet old Quaker woman, whom everyone believes to be a witch, living by herself near Blackbird Pond. But if Kit’s friendship with Hannah is discovered, she will never be accepted by the colonists. She must decide between her duty, and what her heart tells her.

This is a wonderful book full of love, anger, rejection, fear, sadness, and relief. It’s also fascinating to see how the colonists lived. Once you start this book, you’ll have a hard time putting it down until you’ve finished. All that to say, I can’t decide which of Elizabeth George Speare’s I like the most: The Bronze Bow or The Witch of Blackbird Pond.