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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful historical fiction.
Thirteen-year-old Mary Chilton has lived in Leyden, Holland almost her entire life; she was not yet three years old when her family fled England in search of religious freedom. But neither England nor Holland feels like her real home to Mary. She has always longed for a place to truly belong. When her parents decide to join other English Separatists living in Holland who...
Published on October 7, 2004 by Rebecca Herman

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
Pretty good story. Like the POV focus. A bit too melodramatic with the religious view. Other than that, a pretty good read.
Published 4 months ago by Lou


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful historical fiction., October 7, 2004
This review is from: Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) (Paperback)
Thirteen-year-old Mary Chilton has lived in Leyden, Holland almost her entire life; she was not yet three years old when her family fled England in search of religious freedom. But neither England nor Holland feels like her real home to Mary. She has always longed for a place to truly belong. When her parents decide to join other English Separatists living in Holland who are planning to settle in the New World, she feels a mixture of sorrow at leaving behind friends, neighbors, and her three adults sisters, and joy at the thought that she might finally find a place to call home. But the sea voyage on the Mayflower is long and dangerous, filled with storms and sickness, and the difficulties do not end when they finally reach the New World.

Wendy Lawton has brought to life the story of Mary Chilton, a real girl who was a passenger on the Mayflower in 1620. I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction, particularly those who have a special interest in the Pilgrims or Colonial America.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling look at America's early history, March 16, 2003
By 
This review is from: Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) (Paperback)
Reading Wendy Lawton's Almost Home reminded me of everything I'd heard about the Mayflower's trip to the New World along with some interesting tidbits I forgot over the years or never knew in the first place. Like the fact that the Mayflower was forced to return to England twice after setting out for the New World for repairs to its sister ship, only to be forced to make the trip alone after weeks of delays. Or that without Squanto, their fluent Indian friend and fellow believer in God, their odds of survival would have been greatly reduced.
Almost Home is the true account of thirteen-year-old Mary Chilton, an actual passenger on the Mayflower, whose dream was to find a place where she belonged. It is the third book in Mrs. Lawton's Daughters of the Faith series, but the only one I've read. Now I am anxious to get my hands on the first two.
I highly recommend Almost Home. I believe it would be most enjoyed if shared aloud by the entire family, as parents and young people alike will learn and be inspired by Mary's story of the courage and faith on which this country was founded.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Home, Based on the Life of Mary Chilton, March 21, 2003
This review is from: Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) (Paperback)
Wendy Lawton has done it again! She has drawn me into one of
her historical children's books.
Lawton's ability to weave history with fiction enriches each book she has written in the Daughters of the Faith Series. I was thrilled to reach the end of the book and learn about the fate of the real Mary Chilton and other passengers of the Mayflower. I found it interesting to note that there really was a Francis Billington who nearly blew up the Mayflower.
I think Lawton's descriptive ability is richer in this third book of the series. She has a way of placing you in the country as though you lived there. You can almost smell the salty sea air in Leyden. On board the Mayflower, readers can see "the shimmer of water" and hear "the flap, flap, flap of sails being unfurled..."
Throughout this series, Lawton weaves her faith in God throughout the book much like Mary Chilton and her mother weaved the cloth for their family as they set out for their new home--America.
I thoroughly enjoyed this latest book in the Daughters of the Faith Series and can't wait for the next one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence at it's best!, August 18, 2003
By 
Erick DuPree (MA Montessori Educator) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) (Paperback)
This is the second book by Wendy Lawton that I have read with my classroom in mind. It is a great read for both the young and the vast majority of us older adults. Almost Home is the story of May Chilton and her wondrous voyage to America on the Mayflower! Well written with just enough dialogue to make the characters come alive, the book is not overly "wordy" for children. The plot is great and the theme warm...this tale definitely keeps the audience captive. As with many other books by Lawton, this too has a delightful moral. The greatest part of this well researched book is that it is biographical and thus opens a dialogue between adults and precocious children. Not only about the Mayflower and the founding of america but also family value, I recommend this book for both the night stand and also the classroom.
Way to go Wendy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Chilton is 'Almost Home', April 27, 2003
This review is from: Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) (Paperback)
Mary Chilton is 13. She feels as if she doesn't belong anywhere. Though she likes it well enough in Holland, it isn't really home. Born in England, she and her family, along with many other 'separatist' families fled to Holland because England would not let them worship God in their own way.
When Mary learns that they will be going to America, she begins to hope that she may finally find a home. But when they leave, it is just Mary, Mother and Father. Her older sisters remain behind, and so do some of her best friends. It is a sad parting when they leave Holland, while at the same time there is eagerness in the thoughts of getting to the New World. But first they have to stop in England.
In England they board the Mayflower, which will carry them to America, but there are many alarming delays before they are finally underway, and it is so late by then that they knew it would be winter before they got there.
A dangerous winter storm hits and the little band of Pilgrims become very sick with the motion of the rocking and pitching of the ship throughout the storm. Only a few stay healthy enough to take care of the rest, and many burdens are thrust on Mary's young shoulders. Yet as each day passes, Mary's thoughts keep her thinking "Almost home...I'm almost home."
When the storm finally subsides, the passengers discover they have been blown off course, and are far north of their intended landing in Virginia. It is bitter cold when they finally make shore at Plymouth Rock, and their little group is not as large as when they left the shores of England. It is November, their supplies are either all gone or spoiled, and they won't be able to plant any crops until spring.
This is the story of a couragous girl who dreams of 'belonging' and finds that her sense of 'home' might not be what she thought it was.
This is the third book in Wendy Lawton's "Daughters of the Faith" Series and should become a part of every library in every family home.
A *must* read, along with the other two books in the series: "The Courage To Run," about young Harriet Tubman, and "The Tinker's Daughter," a story about young Mary Bunyan, the blind daughter of John Bunyan, author of "The Pilgrim's Progress."
In all three, Wendy Lawton has painted a picture of youthful struggles with big issues, and weaves the love of God and the faithful way in which He deals with his children.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read--Great for homeschoolers, too!, April 26, 2003
By 
Sheila Wray Gregoire (Belleville, ON, www.SheilaWrayGregoire.com) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) (Paperback)
If you want your daughters to better understand the richness of their heritage, and the blessings they have being American, this is the book to buy!
It covers the challenges of the voyage to the New World, but also the hope and the reason for the voyage in the first place. It's great for homeschoolers, and lends itself to many possible tie-ins. We did: write a letter home to Isabella to tell about your trip; Write to Isabella about your first year; Keep a diary on the trip.
We read it aloud to my 8-year-old, who loved it, and my 5-year-old, who sat through most of it (which was impressive for her). Highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book!, April 16, 2003
By 
This review is from: Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) (Paperback)
Wendy Lawton's Almost Home, the third in her Daughters of Faith series, belongs on the shelf of every girl you know and in every school/church library. The story of Mary Chilton grabs your imagination and holds it captive until you finish the book!
As other reviewers have mentioned, the details, dialogue, accuracy and content excel. I don't remember the Pilgrim's story riveting my attention like this when first I heard it.
The beauty of Wendy Lawton's books for me remains that her skills, research, and craft are invisible. The story and the characters steal my attention and snare me within the pages. A tale that transports me from my day-to-day routines into the world of another place and time deserves my highest praise, and Wendy's done it again!
Not only is this a rollicking good story, but it teaches as well.
I learned new tidbits of information about the Pilgrims and the Mayflower journey without feeling lectured. The glossary of new words is a boon to every mom and teacher. I found myself sneaking back there to confirm I did indeed know the meaning of some of the words--and then grinning when I did.
These books will stand the test of time like many of your favorite children's classics. Join the adventure!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER WINNER by author Wendy Lawton!, June 18, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) (Paperback)
"The last time Mary saw her English home she stood tiptoe on a wooden crate so she could peer over the salty-tasting rail. ...The stone walls and arched bridges guarding the town of Sandwich eventually faded into the shimmer of water as the flap, flap, flap of sails being unfurled signaled that she was headed into the unknown."
Wendy Lawton is fast becoming a favorite author due to her exquisite storytelling skills. Through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Mary Chilton, we experience the struggles and triumphs of the Separatists (early Pilgrims) in ALMOST HOME, the third tale in the "Daughters of the Faith" series published by Moody. Lawton expertly handles historical details with insight and sensitivity, such as how the Church of England, "though still called a church...was not a place where people often met Christ or deepened their faith." And later, when the Mayflower lands at Plymouth and the newcomers fear the natives, Mary and her friends conclude, "Some of the stories of savagery may be true, just as they are for our people. Other parts of the stories may arise from lack of understanding...who is to say that God, if we are indeed following His leading in coming here, is not, even now, working in the hearts of some of these who look like savages to us?" This sets the stage for Samoset and Squanto, Native Americans who later assist the settlers. This type of careful thoughtfulness flows just under the surface of this well-written account.
Lesser known facts appear as well, such as the travelers starting their voyage with two ships, but serious leakage problems on the Speedwell force all 102 passengers onto the Mayflower. We also catch a glimpse of the conflict between travelers on board, widely divided by their beliefs--the religious Separatists and the non-believing Strangers.
This book is excellent for discussion about religious freedom, learning about the sacrifices and lives of the early settlers, studying geography (the route of the settlers), and discovering turns of phrases unique to that time period (daydreaming = "woolgathering"). Lawton includes an epilogue and interesting glossary of words. The cover is beautiful full-color, and makes a delightful gift for yourself and/or those you love. In the end, Mary Chilton discovers that "home" is not a place after all. Read ALMOST HOME to find out what it is. Get this book!
Kimn Swenson Gollnick ...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History Comes to Life!, May 13, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) (Paperback)
Wendy Lawton transports us back to the voyage of the Mayflower through the eyes of young Mary Chilton. Her experiences and those of her family give us a first hand look at the trials and obstacles that had to be overcome for them to reach this country. Not usually a reader of historical fiction, I was captivated by the well-written and accurate story of the Chilton family. Wendy Lawton had done her homework! Her extensive research not only informs the reader but educates the reader about his heritage in a fast-paced and easily followed style. Definitely a good read for old and young!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all ages., December 28, 2005
By 
This review is from: Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) (Paperback)
I was hooked from the first page. These books are a joy to read. They keep you interested and inspired. I think every young person should read at least one in this series, when they read one they will want to read more. I plan to pass my copies to all my friends.
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Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series)
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