We just finished reading aloud "The Bronze Bow" by Elizabeth George Speare. This book won the Newberry Medal in 1962 and we all found it to be a very good book. I like it when we pick a really interesting book to read aloud because then the excitement is always there to get together and continue on with the story. Besides, when it is a good book, everyone shows up on time AND they even ask me to read it on a non-school day. Let me tell you that that doesn't happen very often.
The story is about a teenage boy named Daniel who lives during the time of Jesus' preaching around the area of Capernaum. Daniel is on a quest to avenge the death of his father by the Romans, so he joins a band of outlaws that live in the mountains.
After being with them awhile, Daniel has to return to his village to take care of his sister, Leah, after their grandmother dies. Leah is possessed by demons and refuses to leave the house, so Daniel must find a way to carry on with his desire to overtake the Romans and still care for his sister.
What I really liked about the story was when the author would tell about what Jesus was doing and she would put Daniel into the context of a Bible story, for example the healing of Jarius' daughter. A lot of the story seems to revolve around events in Mark's Gospel, so the fact that we are reading from that Gospel at Mass right now really made the story come alive.
In a sense, this book is like a good meditation. It does exactly what we are supposed to do when we meditate on a scene from the Gospel: put ourselves somewhere in that scene and think about what is happening. As always happens when we get to the end of a good book, I am very disappointed that it is over. I'm not quite ready to leave all of these characters behind.
I would highly recommend this book, especially as a read aloud. It has a little bit of something for everyone: action and adventure, romance, religion, suspense, beauty and a happy ending. If you haven't read a story out loud as a family in a while, consider starting with this one!