The 1956 Newbery Medal winner, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham, is a fictionalized biography of the great American navigator Nathaniel Bowditch, whose 1802 book, The American Practical Navigator, became known as the "Sailor's Bible." This edition features new jacket art and the original b&w interior illustrations by John O'Hara Cosgrave II. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Jean Lee Latham (1902-1995) won the 1956 Newbery Medal for her fictionalized biography of Nathaniel Bowditch. He, of course, was the Yankee from Salem, Massachusetts, who wrote The American Practical Navigator, better known as the "Sailor's Bible." A teacher and meticulous researcher, Latham's strength lay in her ability to subtly pad her narratives with telling information and incidents which brought alive each of the periods she tackled for her many books. In Bowditch the young Nat grows up poor in a post-American Revolution world rife with currency inflation problems. His nine years as an indentured apprentice for a chandlery are peppered with understandable explanations of the nautical terms that—along with his insatiable appetite for mathematics—eventually lead to his navigational discoveries. Lathem's writing style has the slightly innocent tone of an earlier age, yet Nathaniel Bowditch still comes alive in her pages. This reprint holds up remarkably well, and readers will have the added pleasure of John O'Hara Cosgrave II's original illustrations. 2003 (orig. 1955), Houghton Mifflin,
— Kathleen Karr
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.