by Clyde Robert Bulla
Amanda, about 10 I think, and her two younger siblings (8 and 6) were living in the house of their mother’s employer. Their mother was very ill so Amanda was doing what she could as a kitchen girl to earn their keep. Her father had journeyed to the New World three years prior to help start a colony in Virginia. He left them with a lion doorknocker and a promise to send for them when Virginia had been civilized enough to be safe for women and children. The plan was for the children to bring the doorknocker and hang it in their new house.
Their mother died and Amanda decided to make the journey to America with her two siblings in search of their father. A kind doctor and friend offered to take them since he’d planned to go himself.
The journey was long, uncomfortable and dangerous but the children kept the reunion with their father always before them to buoy their spirits.
This was a pretty fast-paced book. From the opening pages when they receive word from a sailor that had seen their father in the new colony all the way through the voyage and shipwreck, the book moves along without much dilly-dallying. The story is compelling, the characters are sympathetic and the historical background is woven seamlessly into the plot. My son and I both enjoyed reading this for his 4th grade history and I’d recommend it for anyone wanting to give their kids a peek into colonial times but also any kid just wanting to read a good story.