This is one of Bulla's variations, in plainer language (which helps), on the sweet, old-fashioned story mixing poverty, loss, precocious coping, historical background, and a sentimental happy ending. Amanda Freebold is a child maid in the London home where her mother has worked and now lies sick. Living with her backstairs are younger brother Jemmy, eight, and five-year-old sister Meg. When their mother dies, Amanda sets out to join their father in Virginia. There is a row with the mean, stingy mistress over money that is rightly the Freebolds; but the children are helped by their doctor, who also dreams of America. During the crossing, the doctor is swept overboard; and later the ship is wrecked off Bermuda, where crew and passengers must build houses and winter over while the ship is rebuilt. All this time Jemmy clutches a brass door knocker from their old house in London--retrieving it when a sailor steals it, for gold--and when the children arrive in a starving Jamestown, the knocker triggers their sick father's recognition of his family. Bulla explains in an afterword the historical reality of the voyage, shipwreck, and Jamestown conditions, This combination of history and cozy pathos has its audience, and Chessare's perky, expressive pictures extend the appeal.