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Written By: Clyde Robert Bulla
Grade Equivalent Reading Level: 3.9
Lexile Measure: 360L
Three English siblings are left to fend for themselves after their mother dies. They haven’t seen their father since he left for the new colony in Jamestown. With an old lion’s head door knocker as their only reminder of their parents, they sail to the New World looking for their father and a new life.
This story is a fictionalized account of the shipwreck of the Sea Adventure near Bermuda in 1609.
Marie’s Review (Mom): This was another book we didn’t want to put down. It was on Sonlight’s Core D reading list. I really enjoyed it, and the girls begged me to keep reading. We finished it in less than a week.
This was our first book by Clyde Robert Bulla and I found it to be very well written. It’s easily understood and read, but has a lot of foreshadowing and clues. There were tons of discussion points where I was able to re-read a sentence, ask the girls what they thought it meant, and then point out how it further deepened the character development and story line.
Grace’s Review (4th Grade): I liked it and didn’t want mom to put it down. It started out a little boring.
Lainey’s Review (3rd Grade): I loved the end where they met their father in the New Land. I liked Mom reading it some of the time. Other times I wanted to just go play.
Christian Friendly: Yes…
I was concerned about the role of the lion’s head door knocker in the story. The father gave it to the children to “protect” them. This point is not really stretched much farther than that and didn’t bother me. The lion’s head does play a roll in the story, but it’s used to teach moral values/lessons rather than as an object of worship and protection.
Sensitive Readers: Mild Caution
A boat is sent to get help after the shipwreck. They’re never heard from again and their obvious death is discussed.
Also, in an unexpected twist, the kind and loving Dr. that becomes guardian to the children is swept overboard and dies. We as the reader don’t “see” it, but he goes missing and they eventually accept his obvious fate. Even I was shocked and saddened.
There is also a mild fight scene.