Book Review: A Lion to Guard Us

Rating: ★★★★★

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 talisman becomes a symbol of their father’s protection.  The adventure is fraught with danger and difficulty, and the three children courageously meet challenge after challenge, united by familial love.

This well-written story dramatizes the steely grit exhibited by colonists who first came to America, many of whom tasted the fear and disappointments that attended these fictional characters.  But although their reality is often grim, a bright thread of hope runs throughout the book.  Although the children are often frightened, they are always provided for just in time.  It is this providential care, combined with their courage in the face of danger, that makes this such a satisfying adventure.

This book is a fine read-aloud for young listeners transitioning out of picture books, and is also a good read-alone for middle readers.

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Publication Information: Bulla, Clyde Robert. Lion to Guard Us, A. Chessare, Michele (Illustrator). HarperTrophy. 1981. ISBN: 0064403335.
Categories: 5 Stars, Age 04-08, Books Children Love,, First Chapter Books, Read-Aloud Handbook
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Posted on November 9, 2010

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