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A Lion to Guard Us
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A Lion to Guard Us

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,314 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
The inspiring story that The New Yorker called "an exciting tale with top-notch writing," about one girl facing harsh conditions and huge responsibility as she brings her family to the American colonies. 

Featuring a heroine with faith, courage, and a great deal of grit, this acclaimed historical fiction novel portrays the realities faced by three children hoping to find a
Paperback, First Harper Trophy Edition, 117 pages
Published October 20th 1989 by HarperCollins (first published 1981)
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Sieonna The mother falls and dies so Amanda has to watch jemmy and meg

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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
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
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story, disappointing illustrations

This short book is great for introducing young readers to life in the early 1600s for servants in England, the harshness of crossing the Atlantic, and the hardiness of those up to the task. It shows life as it was without sugar coating things -but it does so in a practical manner so that it is not heart wrenching or depressing.

My complaint with this book comes from the illustrations, not the story! Illustrator Michele Chessare looks like she used Picasso
Shanna Gonzalez
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-04-08
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
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
Mary Graham
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book to my elementary children. It's a good way for them to understand the realities of daily life in the 1600's and the sacrifices people made to travel to the New World. The main characters are children, and Clyde Robert Bulla is skilled at reaching a child's heart.
Apr 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Marcus Reeves
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sharon Zink
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I love Clyde Robert Bulla's books. This book retells the story on which The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, is based. It is about a brave girl who shepherds her younger brother and sister across the Atlantic Ocean towards the New World and Jamestown, only to be shipwrecked on one of the Bermuda Islands.
Janelle Higgs
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I did like this book, especially its setting in the 1600's. Good children's intro to life in England and early United States. Characters were not as developed as I would have liked, but this was on a juvenile fiction level as well.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ellie
Ellie read for our family summer reading program..krb 8/7/17
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
After their mother dies, Amanda, Jemmy and Meg decide to get passage to the Virginia Colony where their father is. But their ship gets caught in a storm and winds up on an island in the Bermudas.
Sara Lynn
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: boy-read-aloud
2nd grade boy read aloud. He loved it.
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading Clyde Robert Bulla's A Lion To Guard Us. I saw this one on the library shelf, and, it said TAKE ME HOME. It is historical fiction and follows three siblings as they travel to America in 1609 to the first (and only) British settlement of Jamestown. The novel opens with Amanda hearing news of her father from a stranger--a sailor. Amanda is serving--in her mother's place--in a household. (Her mistress (Mistress Trippett) isn't the nicest or best.) Soon after the book begins ...more
Jun 27, 2009 rated it liked it
"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
Linda Lipko
Aug 04, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011, readers
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
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a cute story! For me it was a very quick read since it's only a little more than 100 pages. Great for boys and girls especially in the 7-10 age range.

This book tells the story of 3 siblings (Amanda, Jemmy, and Meg). They are servants in a rich household in London, England. These children want so badly to travel to Jamestown in America to meet their father again; they haven't seen him for 3 years. They still remember him from the brass door-knocker he passed down to them before he left; it w
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: colonial-america
This book caught my eye, because of the strong title and the time period in which it is set. Amanda and her two siblings are in England, waiting for the day their father will return for them and take them to the New World. Amanda soon realizes that she must be brave and find a way to her father.

The story is short and simply written; however, there is a lot in the 115 pages that display courage, strong family bonds, and determination in the midst of hard times. There is a historical note at the
Rebecca Reid
Sep 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j, history, amer-culture
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
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
Dec 14, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
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.
Sep 01, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Lee Huntington
I would probably only give this three stars, the Boy gave it four. It was a great adventure but full of hardship. Probably very true to period and real hardships of London and Jamestown, but for a 6 year-old I was hoping for at least a full chapter describing the reunion and live at Jamestown. Felt as if it ended abruptly.
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a lion to guard us 2 15 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
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