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Gloria D. Miklowitz
From The Publisher:
In the year 72 C.E., after a four-year war between Rome and Judea, only one fortress remains to be taken: Masada, high above the Dead Sea in what is now Israel.
In this eloquent and unforgettable novel, historically based, we meet 17-year-old Simon ben Eleazar, son of the Jewish leader of the Zealots. As Simon records the relentless siege of the Roman legion, he tells the moving story of the Jews' last stand on Masada.
We also meet Flavius Silva, commander of the Roman Tenth Legion. When the Jews refuse to surrender, he begins to attack the fortress with a vengeance - an attack that will last for seven terrifying months.
Simon apprenticed to Masada's only physican, learns to help victims of the enemy's onslaught even as he struggles with his feelings for young Deborah, the beloved of his best friend, and with the painful decision he must ultimately make.
Can he take a difficult stand that will change his life just as he is truly beginning to live it?
Miklowitz personalizes history in this account of the fall of Masada as seen through the eyes of a young Jewish man helping to hold the fort, and of the Roman commander who is trying to foil the Jews' last stand. Seventeen-year-old Simon ben Eleazar, son of Masada's commander, is an excellent narrator who explains how the Jews have come to be at the mountain fortress, what they are fighting for, and how, in the end, they choose to commit suicide rather than give the Romans the satisfaction of taking them as prisoners. As for Flavius Silva, the Roman commander, Miklowitz succeeds in making him multilayered: true to his job, furious at the Jewish holdouts, yet admiring of their strength, and disgusted by one of his military leaders who fights without honor. The historical facts, a blend of the everyday and the dramatic, show how people can find hope, beauty, and even love in the midst of the most dire of circumstances--and how history is made up of real people, not so different from those reading about it. A powerful offering. See the review, in this section, of Neil Waldman's Masada, as well as the Read-alike on p.339 for suggestions of other biblical fiction.
—Booklist, Ilene Cooper
About the Author
Gloria Miklowitz, a graduate of the University of Michigan, is the author of more than 45 fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. Her books have won national and international awards and deal with important issues such as nuclear war, racial injustice, steroid abuse, date violence and most recently militia involvement. Three of her novels were made into award-winning television specials, including one which won the Emmy for “Best Children’s Special” in 1986 (The War Between the Classes). A frequent speaker at schools, Gloria has also taken part in conferences in the United States, South Africa and Sweden. Gloria currently lives in La Cañada, California.
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