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The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed Hardcover – July 1, 2002


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Hardcover, July 1, 2002
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Lexile Measure: 1020L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; First Edition edition (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068984851X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689848513
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,832,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With the clever, nearly 13-year-old narrator, Patience, at the helm, this fast-paced debut novel successfully steers through a whaling expedition and mutinous uprising. Though Patience would rather honor her recently deceased Mama's plan that she study mathematics at home on Nantucket, her captain father insists she and her six-year-old brother, Thaddeus (Tad), accompany him on his whaling ship. However, once aboard the Morning Star, her father initially dismisses her interest in navigation until she proves herself in her lessons (she also demonstrates her talents in the galley the author includes two favorite recipes). Frederick spices up the journey with an eclectic cast and crew, including Glum the dour cook, two thugs Patience nicknames Bunion and Toad, and a traitor named Bridgewater whom she dubs Bilgewater. She also weaves into the plot atmospheric details about whaling, the layout of the ship and navigational instruments, and supplements her research with facts about infamous whaling vessels such as the Essex and insider terms that kids will eat up, such as "Nantucket sleigh ride" the whalers' name for the breakneck chase after the prey. Patience also keeps a diary, which in some instances offers a slightly revised rehash of events but, for the most part, complements the text. Though readers will enjoy the whaling adventure, the brave heroine makes this historical adventure most memorable. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7 After the death of their mother, Patience and her younger brother, Tad, are taken by their captain father aboard his whaling ship for a three-year journey. At first, Patience desperately misses her Nantucket home, but she slowly grows accustomed to life at sea. The 12-year-old isn't thrilled to be confined to menial housekeeping chores, but after she is the first person to spot a whale, her father teaches her to use navigation equipment. When the ship is later threatened with sabotage by mutinous sailors, the girl must put her newfound skills and confidence to the test. Patience is a fully fleshed-out character, with layers of strength, intelligence, courage, and resourcefulness. She is also seeking approval from her father and anxious about her role on the ship and in life. Readers get a good sense of conditions aboard a whaler in 1835 and what daily life entailed. Nautical terms are included, but are not too technical and are woven throughout the text smoothly enough to glean the meaning (a glossary is included). The flow and pace of the novel are breezy enough to hold reader interest. Overall, a delightful journey with an appealing, well-rounded character. -Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

After a 20-year career as a journalist, I decided it was high time to fulfill my lifelong dream of writing fiction for young readers. The rest, as they say, is history.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up remembering my childhood vacations on Nantucket and was really glad I did. I can recall as a child learning something about whaling and wondering what life was really like on one of the ships, and now here's a story to answer that question. I'm planning to share this book with all the 10-year-old girls I know.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Patience captured my interest as an adult, and I enjoyed it because of the accuracy of the whaling and sailing history and technology, and the easy flow of descriptive writing. This is the kind of book which children from 8 to 13 can get lost in and not want to put down. The plot is exciting and after all is said and done, one wonders where Patience will go next?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This author made a whole world come alive, and even though I wasn't sure I would like a story that had whaling in it, it was really fun to read. I couldn't put the book down until Patience was safe again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I consider myself quite the reader of children's books. I devour the puppies with a great deal of relish and smacking of the lips, but there are some genres of kiddie lit that I simply do not know a whole lot about. Like children's historical novels that are about whaling. Honestly, if you were to sit me down in a small darkened room with a single light bulb over my head and a piece of paper before me reading, "List every children's novel ever written about whaling or a life at sea", I'd be up a creek. I picked up, "The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed", on a lark and found that this was one of the first books of this kind I'd ever encountered. Now, normally a tale of a child on a whaling vessel would contain a male protagonist or, alternatively, a girl protagonist disguised as a boy. Author Heather Vogel Frederick has taken an entirely different tack, however. In this book you see the world of seafaring through the eyes of a typical New England twelve-year-old. And while this is not the best written work of historical fiction ever conceived, you can tell that Frederick's heart and soul went into this puppy.

Patience Goodspeed is not happy. Not happy at all. It was bad enough that her mother died only a few months ago. It was bad enough that her father, the captain of a whaling vessel, was gone during that time and has only just returned. And it's bad enough that he's now so awash in misery and depression that he hardly pays attention to his brood. But now, suddenly, Captain Goodspeed has decided that Patience and her little brother Thaddeus are to accompany him on his next three-year voyage at sea. This jars violently with Patience's own plans to stay in Nantucket and learn under the tutelage of the fabulous teacher Maria Mitchell.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Twelve-year-old Patience Goodspeed and her younger brother, six-year-old Tad, were raised by their mother in Nantucket while their father, the captain of a whaling ship, sailed the world on long voyages lasting up to four years. But when their mother dies, Patience's father decides that she and Tad will accompany him on his next voyage on the Morning Star. Patience doesn't want to leave Nantucket and live on a whaling ship. She finds it hard to adjust to life on board, and misses lessons with her math tutor back to Nantucket. But when a mutiny occurs on board the ship, Patience -- and her talent for math -- may be all that can save her father.

I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction. It is very well written, and the story flows along well. Patience is a great character, and I loved the setting on board a whaling ship, as this is an unusual setting in historical fiction for kids and teens. I can't wait to read the sequel and find out what adventures await Patience next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By small review on August 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Thirteen year old Patience Goodspeed accompanies her father aboard his whaling vessel during the mid-1800s. There she learns about life aboard a ship and assists the cook. It isn't until a new first mate comes aboard and stirs up a mutiny that things begin to pick up. Patience's father and the loyal members of the crew are marooned on an island and it is up to Patience to find a way to defeat the mutinous crew and rescue her father.

I entered this book with the hope that Patience would be another Charlotte Doyle (from Avi's excellent "The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle"), and while that might have been an unfairly high standard to set, Patience didn't even come close. Patience is bland with no strong or admirable characteristics. There isn't anything wrong with her, but she doesn't shine or stand out in any way.

The plot description on the back of the book made the story sound like it was going to be an exciting adventure, but it takes almost ¾ of the book before the mutiny even occurs. Everything prior to that point is a slow and uneventful account of life aboard the ship. This could have at least been interesting in an educational way, but there aren't enough details or explanations that teach the reader anything. Instead, Patience bakes a lot of biscuits and wins over the faceless crew by being vaguely nice and cooking things for them.

When the mutiny and marooning finally did occur, they were resolved much too quickly and easily. Everything was handled too conveniently and there was very little suspense. We also never got to experience or hear about what it was like for her father and the crew who were marooned.
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