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Carry On, Mr. Bowditch Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; English Language edition (May 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618250743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618250745
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Illustrations, rich in detail, by John O'Hara Cosgrave II add authenticity and value." School Library Journal, Starred

About the Author

Jean Lee Latham was born in 1902 in Buckhannon, West Virginia. At an early age, she became a prolific writer, penning works of fiction and nonfiction, as well as theater scripts. Ever since its debut, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch has acquired an intrigued group of sea-loving fans.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Today, about 10 years since I first read this book, I still love to read it.
Nate
I recommend this book to any who want to learn more about navigation, perseverance, or are just looking for a good read.
CLWest
Jean Lee Latham won the Newbery Medal in 1956 for her fictionalized biography, Carry on Mr. Bowditch.
Linda R. Gabriel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Learning All The Time TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch contains absolutely fascinating background information about Salem and navigation in the 1700s, providing a valuable context for Nathaniel Bowditch's contributions to maritime navigation and allowing the reader to more fully understand just how remarkable and important they were.

It is quite inspiring to read how Nathaniel Bowditch, who experienced many traumatic events in his youth and childhood, made such a meaningful - albeit a bit obscure today - contribution to mankind by rewriting the book on Maritime navigation. While he had excellent intelligence, he did not have much luck in his early years, and his accomplishments are largely due to his dogmatic perseverence to educate himself against all odds.

My favorite parts of the book described his ocean voyages - how he solved various problems of navigation and how he won the allegiance of the motley crew of every ship he sailed on.

My children are not old enough yet for this story, but I look forward to the day they are.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By microjoe TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 20, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story is an incredible true tale of a simple young boy who is forced into an apprenticeship by his father. Rather than letting his new life depress him, he began the process of educating himself. He found he had a talent for math and navigation, and became a famous navigator at sea. I could not put this story down, even though it was written a long time ago and is a historical novel.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Plume45 on June 3, 2000
Format: Library Binding
Jean Latham's 1955 Newbery award winner is an easy-to-read fictionalized biography of the early life and career of Nathanial Bowditch of Salem. Set in a proud Massachusetts sailing village and on the high seas, the story rolls along like a Yankee trader: now billowing ahead, now becalmed, now swamped yet often riding triumphant swells with exotic cargo. How a youth denied a Harvard education literally rewrote the book on 18th century navigation, thus making the ocean safer for all sailors.
Since the storyline must obey the facts, the author operates under some literary constraint. The stout-hearted protagonist suffers repeated family losses, yet he clings to his ideal of an accurate book, which captains can trust and will save lives the world over. While indentured in a ship's chandlery, Nat cherishes his dreams of higher education, teaching himself mathematics, astronomy, navigation and three languages.
Nat's genius for detail and swift mental calculations of figures make him a wonder in an age when most sailors relied on gut instincts (Lead, Log and Lookout,)for the common man clung to his inbred superstitions, rejecting fancy book learning from mere lubbers. It took a Yankee youth to identify the fatal errors in Moore's sacred charts. Young readers will appreciate Latham's extensive dialogue and the excellent b/w sketches by John Cosgrave. Read as Biography or Maritime History, this book breezes along like a trim Yankee clipper.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nate on October 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read this beautifully and simply written book when I was about ten and it immediately became my favorite. I identified with Nathaniel Bowditch in many respects - my name is also Nathaniel and I also love math - but still he amazed me with his intense desire to learn and persevere through struggles.
I learned alot from this story. I was fascinated by Nathaniel Bowditch's amazing brilliance (writing an almanac as a teenager and doing insanely complex math problems in his head), his hard work (studying multiple languages from books), and his humility (teaching sailors math and navigation, giving them confidence in themselves). Amazingly, he did all this though his life was full of struggles. For me, someone who already liked to learn, this story powerfully reinforced just how exciting and valuable it is to gain more knowledge and then pass it on.
Today, about 10 years since I first read this book, I still love to read it. The title of "favorite book" has since passed on, but something still excites me about the impact one man can have because he dedicated himself to learning and to helping others through what he learned. That's a message young people, especially those already excited about learning, need to hear. And that's why those kids need to read this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you like great adventure and historical fiction get this book now! It is about a boy named Nat Bowditch. He is a boy whose family is poor with many kids to feed. Nat is interested in learning and school. He grows up to be a very smart mathematician. Also he is very good at navigation. Nat becomes a captain and he has to sail to very treacherous destinations. Along with his crew they have to face fog, no wind, and bad, bad weather. I would not recommend this to people who don't like when people die in the story. This book is an absolute good book to buy. Something exciting or sad is happening on every page. I'm not into reading much but this book made me want to read it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a small country strives for her freedom, a small boy also fights to be free. And as that country grows into the powerful United States, the boy grows also.
Nathaniel Bowditch- a small boy in a poor family who has a history of mariners, with a curiosity and a love for math. Nat's dream is to enter Harvard and get a degree. However, that dream is cut short when his father sends him to be apprenticed to a bookkeeper because he cannot support Nat. Even this apprenticeship cannot stop Nat from learning. Using his position to his advantage, he uses the books around him whenever he has time. He comes across Newton's "Principia" He discovers, chagrined, that it is written in Latin, which he cannot comprehend. He tackles this problem by using his memory of the Bible and comparing it with a bible written in Latin. As he slowly but surely translates Principia, he develops a love for languages.
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is a book that inspires us to never give up our dreams no matter how bad our situation is. Anyone interested in astronomy, math, navigation, or ships in general will most likely love this book.
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