Have you read The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare, with your children? If not, I would highly suggest you add it to your Must Read list. Personally, I think it is great done as a "read aloud" because of the deep spiritual content that can be discussed. But it is also a great title for their independent reading list. With all the garbage in reading material being marketed to our kids, I appreciate a book that is worthy of our time and is edifying for my children.
My kids were 12 and 15 when we read it and it is up there with my top 5 titles. As a book lover, I have a hard time narrowing down my favorites, but this one qualifies for several reasons. First, it takes the reader on a challenging and beautiful spiritual journey. Also, it is very well written (same author as Witch of Blackbird Pond), engaging the early teen with both adventure and drama, while drawing them into the lives of the main characters, which often gives opportunity to explore their own personal relationship with Jesus.
This story explores our struggles with forgiveness, self-worth, kindness and much more, through the eyes of a young Jewish man who has been hurt, especially by the Roman government, and is looking for a hero to lead him in a revolt and is chomping at the bit to join The Cause. It is set at the time of Christ, and the main characters actually encounter Jesus as He teaches in the region. The main characters are older teens, so our teen readers can identify with some of their struggles. Through disappointments in others that he has put his faith in, and surprising friendships that come his way, the main character Daniel begins to see his own need for a Savior and experiences a life and heart transformed through a relationship with Jesus. Just a little FYI... I needed my tissues nearby, especially towards the end. Very powerful story. NOTE: Our local library carries this title.