THE GOLDEN BULL by Marjorie Cowley


Age Range: 10 - 12
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Young readers will identify with the up-and-down sibling relationship at the center of this historical tale, in spite of its uncommonly petrified dialogue (“Early tomorrow morning I’ll take you to the broad, well-traveled road that leads to the city”) and a less-than-suspenseful plot. Dispatched from their drought-stricken farm to make their way as best they can in the ancient city of Ur, grumpy teenager Jomar and his tempestuous little sister Zefa spend at least as much energy quarreling as they do fretting about finding work while staying out of the clutches of Malak, a malicious official of the prosperous temple of the moongod. By the end, Jomar has proven himself an apt apprentice to a kindly goldsmith, and Zefa has parlayed a natural talent with the lyre into a position as a Temple musician—but more importantly, each has earned the other’s respect. Along with glimpses of ancient goldsmithing techniques, Cowley tucks healthy measures of cultural and historical detail into her uncomplicated Mesopotamian tale. (Historical fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-58089-181-3
Page count: 216pp
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2008