A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla. This short middle-grade nove has scored high on the “Please, Mommy, just one more chapter” meter for Rose (7 1/2) and Beanie (5). (Jane read it herself a couple of years ago.) It’s the story of three very young English children whose father is far away in Jamestown, making a home for the family in the New World. Their mother dies, leaving them penniless, stranded, and desperately anxious to make their way across the sea to join their father. The suspenseful account of their adventures, told in Bulla’s typically spare and straightforward prose, has kept my younguns trembling on the edge of their seats. (Okay, “on the arm of the couch” or “the precarious edge of the windowsill” would be more accurate, especially for Beanie.) Excellent living book for early American history studies, or (as is the case with us) just for fun.