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A Lion to Guard Us
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A Lion to Guard Us

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  714 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Amanda Freebold doesn't know what to do. Her father left three years ago for the new colony of Jamestown, in America, thousands of miles away. All Amanda has to remember him by is a little brass lion's head he gave his family to guard them while he is gone. Now her mother has just died, leaving Amanda to take care of her younger brother and sister.

As head of the family, Am...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 20th 1989 by HarperCollins (first published 1981)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,176)
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Shanna Gonzalez
Amanda, Jemmy, and Meg live with their mother, who is a servant in a wealthy English house. Having sold their property in order to send Father to the Virginia colony in America, they are waiting for him to send for them. But Mother sickens and dies, and the three children are left in the merciless hands of Mother's employer until they flee from her. Under the protection of a kind doctor, they make their own way to America. Jemmy carries the brass lions-head that Father left in his care, and this...more
Heather
I read this today; it took about 30 minutes. I won't be reading it to the kids. For one, I thought it a little slow and rather boring. I didn't get the sense of danger or excitement that the circumstances should have evoked. Second, it's not a very happy book. I'm sure life was very much like that depicted, but it just wasn't uplifting and even at the end I didn't feel that everything was going to be okay. While this book is historical fiction I didn't learn a whole lot and I think if you're goi...more
The other John
This one's a fictionalized account of the last voyage of the Sea Adventure in 1609. When en route to the Jamestown colony, it was separated from it's fleet by a storm and ran aground in Bermuda. No lives were lost, but everybody had to spend nine months on the island while they waited for help and eventually built two ships to carry them on to Virginia. The account of the storm and the shipwreck was Shakespeare's inspiration for The Tempest. This story, however, is much shorter. It tells of thre...more
Anushka
This is a wonderful book about a girl who has to live with her sister and her brother after her father leaves and her mother dies.
Josiah
"When you lose someone it's like—like having to find your way again."

Ellie, "A Lion to Guard Us", P. 21

As much as I like all of the Clyde Robert Bulla books that I have read, this one is right up there with "The Chalk Box Kid" as my favorite.
Told with the unmistakable sweetness inherent in any tome by the author, "A Lion to Guard Us" also deals with issues that are more complex than those usually found in the author's books. The historical fiction aspect of it also makes things very interest...more
Linda Lipko
While this YA book is not of the caliber of David Almond or Robert Westall, it was worth the read. It is a simply written fictionalized account of three English children who, because their mother died, went to sea in the hope of locating their father who had previously traveled to the newly settled colony of Jamestown.

While aboard the voyage of the Sea Adventure in 1609, the ship heading for Jamestown was storm tossed and wrecked in Bermuda.

Interestingly, the actual shipwreck was the inspiration...more
Marcus Reeves
The reason I began to read this is because it has a chapter in it called THE DEVIL DOLL, and that is what my dad calls my sister's doll, but the WHOLE THING is really good. Please read it. It is not that long...
And, the chapters are very short...
So you can ask you mom to read five more chapters before you come to the table for lunch, or, in my case, reading with a reading light in bed. I read it it two days...


YEah, it was good
100% for reading.
Girls can read it too, and they can skip THE DEVIL DO...more
Sara Lynn
1. Genre: Junior Book/Historical Fiction

2. Summary: Amanda, Jemmy, and Meg have lost their mother and now are in search of their missing father. Follow along with them on their adventure across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. They must take care of one another and trust only the right people on their journey to Jamestown to find their father.

3. Critique:
a. One of the greatest strengths of this title is characterization.

b. Of these, the most prevalent is Amanda. Not only does Amanda remain c...more
Mary Overton
"But when [Dr. Crider] came in, he hardly looked at the kitchen. For a while he hardly looked at them. He sat down with his hat and cloak on. His eyes were bright, and there was color in his cheeks.
"Amanda spoke to him twice before he answered.
"'Yes? What is it?'
"'Will you have tea?' she asked.
"'Tea? No, no,' he said. "Amanda - ?'
"'Yes, sir?'
"'Am I an old man?'
"'Yes, sir,' she answered.
"'I am?'
"'I mean - not a VERY old man, but -'
"'I know how I must look to you, but don't believe what you see. T...more
Darlene
I read this book aloud to my kids. This is the 7th Bulla book that we have read, and we just love his historical fiction novels! He is a fantastic storyteller!

Although this book is a work of fiction, it is written about a true event: The sailing of the Sea Adventure with eight other ships in 1609 from Plymouth, England to Virginia which was then an English colony in the New World.

Bulla tends to write stories about children who, due to unfortunate circumstances, are put in leadership roles and wh...more
Susan
A children's story of new pilgrims journey to the new world, this was a quick read. It seemed to be loosely based on real events, but would be a good introduction to some of the challenges facing them back then.
Rebecca Reid
In this middle-elementary reader, a young girl in England struggles to keep her brother and sister together after her mother passes away. Because her father was a part of the advance group that traveled to Jamestown, she determines to get her young family to Jamestown as well. Reading this book together with him helped Raisin internalize what England would have been like, how traveling on a ship may have been, and the ways in which settling in Jamestown was a stark contrast to life in England at...more
A. Matschull
A lion to guard us is a tale about Amanda Freebold and her brother and sister going to America to find their Dad A good book and definitely worth a read
Kate
Beautifully paced history for middle elementary readers. Three children work as drudges in a large household as they wait for their mother to be well enough to travel to Jamestown where their father is. When they finally get underway they end up on the ill-fated Sea Adventurer, which crashed into Bermuda, where the survivors lived before building new boats and continuing on to Virginia. Life in the 1600s was harsh and Bulla doesn't hide it, but the story is succinct and fascinating. Might be a g...more
Colleen
Nice story, but kind of short...(<--Like my review :D)
Cathy
Left on their own in London, three impoverished children draw upon all their resources to stay together and make their way to the Virginia colony in search of their father.

A quick read (117 pages) that young children can understand and appreciate. It is written simply, but with enough excitement (a mean landlady, a kind, but missing doctor, a sea adventure, a shipwreck, a thief, and finally to Jamestown) to keep them interested. A fun read aloud to young children that will give them a small (st...more
Paige
This book was about a few siblings and how they had an adventure to find their father. This historical book was about their father leaving them to another land and their mother died. So they went out in search of theri father. Finally, the happy ending is when they find thei father. All throughout their journey, their father had given them a lion doornock shaped like a lion. They used that as a charm for protection. I would reccommend this book to anyone who likes historical books about adventur...more
Breanna
Nice, easy reader for elementary kids that depicts how difficult it was for those coming to the New World.
M
Good historical fiction for young readers to get a feel for the earliest English settlers making their way to (America) fabled Virginia.
Ava
really enjoyed reading this with kids
Andrea
A family of children journey to join their father in Jamestown. Not especially well written but simple enough that it let some readers be part of the class study on immigration with a "chapter book". I did gain much more respect for the book after reading the historical notes in the back of the book relating which parts of the story were based on actual historical events. The more we talked about the book along the way the more interesting it became.
Caitlintobin
This is an older historic fiction book about sailing from England to Jamestown in the 1600s. Even though people die in the story, and the trip across the Atlantic on the ship would have been dangerous, the author presents it in a way that is accurate but accessible to 3rd/4th graders. This is a great book to share information about this period in history without giving too many details about the poor living conditions and illnesses.
Melody
An interesting companion read with Pocahontas and the Strangers (same author) for our history studies. It's a small book, but more interesting and more enjoyable writing than in Pocahontas. Based on actual events, this story makes for a wonderfully accessible way for a child to grasp how different life was in the 17th century. The ending is abrupt and a bit disappointing, but on the whole it was a fun reading experience.
Kenyan
a small book, about a girl who's father is in America (Jamestown Virginia) and who's mother is sick. the mother is (or should I say was?) a servant in a rich lady's household, got terribly sick and died. So, Amanda is left to care for her younger brother and sister. through both unfortunate and fortunate circumstances they end up in Jamestown, and are reunited with there father.
Gracia
The kids were servants at the beginning, but they left and got on a ship with a doctor. The doctor fell overboard. They landed on an island close to Pennsylvania. Some started fighting because they wanted to stay there instead of going on to Pennsylvania so the crew abandoned those men. They sailed on to Pennsylvania and they met their father there.
Erin
I read this aloud to Bree and she was such a trooper! I found the story to be dull and somewhat depressing, and was tempted to give up on it even though I rarely ever do that and didn't want to give my new-to-chapter-books daughter the impression that you don't have to finish them. We stuck with it, and I finished the last page with a sigh of relief!
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I had hopes for this one, but despite its extreme historicity (it being based on the voyage of the Sea Venture
Cara
I liked this book...historical fiction for young readers. The characters were more complex than I expected from a book with such a young audience. And it was a historical story I was unfamiliar with. I always enjoy learning something new. It was very well-written and I enjoyed the role (and adventures) of the brass lion doorknocker.
Jennifer Tarr
A relatively easy to read book about a young girls who is among the first settlers of the Jamestown Colony. It allows 2nd-4th graders a way to imagine the experience of a child in this time in history--in its harshness and in its courage. I see is as a productive part of an American History unit--not as a standalone piece of literature.
Reece
This book was good. It is about three kids at first one girl is a cook, she talks to a sailor and the sailor tells her her mom is dead. They try to get some money from the lady they are working for so they can find their father. They land on an island and find food there and fresh water. They go to Virginia where their father is.
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a lion to guard us 2 12 Dec 11, 2008 05:11AM  
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Born to be a Writer
Almost as far back as he can remember, Clyde Robert Bulla wanted to write. Born on a farm in a small town in Missouri, Mr. Bulla's first school was a one-room country schoolhouse. One day his teacher asked each first grade student what he or she would do with a thousand dollars. Young Clyde answered that he would buy a table. His classmates laughed heartily, and his teacher was...more
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