A Lion to Guard Us

by Clyde Robert Bulla

Paperback, 2018



Call number




HarperCollins (2018), Edition: Reissue, 128 pages


Left on their own in seventeenth-century 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.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Hamburgerclan
This one's a fictionalized account of the last voyage of the Sea Adventure in 1609. When enroute 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
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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 three children, whose father has gone off to Jamestown to build a new home for the family. Unfortunately, their mother gets ill and dies and the three children face the challenge of either settling down to a life of servitude and poverty or making an ambitious journey across the ocean. It's a simplistic tale, being written for children and all, but an enjoyable one as well. Check it out.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
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
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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 for Shakespeare's final play The Tempest. Miraculously all members of the Sea Adventure were saved, spent nine months on Bermuda, built two ships and then sailed to Jamestown.

When arriving in Jamestown, they found that only a small band of people survived the harsh conditions of rugged Virginia.

With only a small trinket to guide them -- a door knocker in the shape of a lion previously given to them by their father -- the children clung to the hope of finding him and a new life of promise.
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LibraryThing member MarthaL
The young reader will get a sense of the history by Bulla's account of a family journey from the old world to the new world. Father has gone ahead to the colonies mother and the children are working and saving to make their way. Unfortunately mother passes away and the children become indentured. A
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kindly doctor stands up for them and soon they are at sea. Sadly the doctor's oceanic interest soon sweep him overboard. In the end the children are reunited with their father. What ties the story all together is the lion on a brass door knocker.
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LibraryThing member fnborries
This book was an interesting story following a girl and her two siblings on their journey to America. Their father left them to go build houses in America to make more money; the mother falls sick and passes away while in London. The children then decide to go on the journey to America to find
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their father. On the way they go through difficulties that they have to overcome.
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LibraryThing member SHeineke
Set in 1609 begining in England and proceeding to America, this is a tale of children left alone at the unexpected death of their mother - with a father who has been gone a few years following his dream of starting a new life for them in Jamestown, VA. The children are befriended by an adventurous
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doctor who decides he wants to go to the new world and take the children to find their father. The journey is filled with adversity and some thrills, but the children are eventually reunited with their father in America.
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LibraryThing member kjburkhalter
Three children go on a journey to find their father in the New World after their mother dies. All they have to remember him by is a doorknocker that he left for them. They face many trials on their journey, but eventually find him in Virginia.
LibraryThing member srrush
This is the story of 3 children who go on an open sea adventure looking for their father who went to America. the book tells of their struggles, problems, successes and failures throughout this adventure. It is a wonderful tale of sibling and family commitment and love.
LibraryThing member reneemrobbins
Historical fiction based on three young children crossing to Jamestown. Written in language easy for young reader to understand. Story did not go into enough depth in order for reader to become really engaged in the story.
LibraryThing member 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
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"'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. Today I'm young again. I'm young, Amanda! ... You don't understand me, do you?'
"'No, sir.'
"'I've just been to see Sir Thomas Smythe on Philpot Lane. We've talked about ships to the New World. Nine are leaving next month. Nine ships, Amanda, leaving in June. And you'll be on one of them.'
"'I will? Truly?'
"'Yes. And Jemmy and Meg, too.'
"She said, 'I know. You went to Mistress Trippett's. You got the money [owed us].'
"'No. Poor Mistress Trippett,' he said, 'shut up in her big house. Poor Mistress Trippett with her bags of money - let her keep it all. There's a great world outside, and she'll never know it. But WE'LL know it, Amanda.'
"He was on his feet, walking up and down. 'They want me in Jamestown. They NEED me there. They want doctors, and they don't care how old I am. There's nothing to keep me here, and I'm going. We're all going to the New World together!'" pp.47-48
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LibraryThing member dayspring777
This could be my first historical fiction outside of schoolbooks (waayyy back when;)). I loved it.
LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
On June 2, 1609, the Sea Adventure plus eight other ships sailed from Plymouth, England bound for the colony Virginia. These ships were bringing relief to the settlers of Jamestown as this young colony was at war with the natives and facing starvation. A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla is a
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children’s tale based on this episode. During the crossing a massive storm struck and drove the Sea Adventure aground off the shore of Bermuda. The settlers spent nine months on Bermuda and managed to built two smaller ships that they sailed safely to Jamestown. They luckily brought a lot of food with them from Bermuda and these supplies helped to keep Jamestown going until more ships arrived from London.

A Lion to Guard Us is aimed at children that are 8 to 12 years and because of this there really isn’t a lot of detail added to the story or character development. Amanda is a thirteen year old girl who after the death of her mother, is trying to get herself and her younger sister and brother to Jamestown to find their father. They find a berth on the Sea Adventure. The historical details are slight with most of the author’s attention being on the story of these children dealing with all that is placed in their way. Written in a straight forward, simple style for middle school age children, I think perhaps this story might be too simple to appeal to today’s children. It is interesting to note that the story of the Sea Adventure caught the attention of William Shakespeare and he went on to base his play The Tempest on this lost ship.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

7.62 inches


0064403335 / 9780064403337
Page: 0.4384 seconds