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The Last Fortress
Gloria D. Miklowitz
Ages 12 & up
Lexile: 850L
PAPERBACK; Published: 8/13/1999
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5168-0
Price: $ 9.00
198 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.25
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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. Two years later, the commander of the famous Roman Tenth Legion, Flavius Silva, marches toward Masada to capture or kill the 960 Jewish zealots who hold it.

In this eloquent and powerful novel, we meet 17-year-old Simon ben Eleazar, son of the Jewish leader of Masada. Apprenticed too Masada's only physician, Simon learns to help victims of the enemy's onslaught as he struggles with his love for Deborah, the intended of his best friend, and with the painful decision he must ultimately make.

Association of Jewish Libraries , Notable Books for Older
Publishers Weekly
"Simon lives his final days with hope and trust in the faithfulness of God, and readers may well be inspired by his example to live their own lives with purpose in the face of all obstacles."
"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. . . 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."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Readers get deeply involved in the paradoxical suspense of doomed characters who nourish their lives — including romance, marriage, friendship, and ambition — in the face of death. . . History is sometimes simply sad, and Miklowitz has asserted that sadness without sensationalizing it or apologizing for it."