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The Man Who Made Time Travel
     

The Man Who Made Time Travel

4.0 1
by Kathryn Lasky, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)
 

Who would solve one of the most perplexing scientific problems of all time?

This dramatic picture-book biography brings to life – with illustrations that glow with wit and inspiration – the fascinating story of the quest to measure longitude. While the scientific establishment of the eighteenth century was certain that the answer lay in mapping

Overview

Who would solve one of the most perplexing scientific problems of all time?

This dramatic picture-book biography brings to life – with illustrations that glow with wit and inspiration – the fascinating story of the quest to measure longitude. While the scientific establishment of the eighteenth century was certain that the answer lay in mapping the heavens, John Harrison, an obscure, uneducated clockmaker, dared to imagine a different solution: a seafaring clock. How Harrison held fast to his vision and dedicated his life to the creation of a small jewel of a timepiece that would change the world is a compelling story – as well as a memorable piece of history, science, and biography.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The text makes absorbing reading both for its sidelights on history as well as the personal drama portrayed...Teachers looking for books for units on inventors will find this a memorable choice for reading aloud." — Starred, Booklist

The Man Who Made Time Travel provides delightful insight into the inspiring story of John Harrison. Kathryn Lasky’s compelling text and Kevin Hawkes’s imaginative and captivating illustrations bring to life Harrison’s long struggle and eventual triumph in solving the longitude problem, which had baffled the greatest scientists for more than two centuries.” — William J. H. Andrewes, co-author of The Illustrated Longitude

"With Hawkes's luminous full-color paintings on every page, its clear science, and its compelling social commentary, this title is not to be missed." — Starred, School Library Journal

"Younger readers will discover both the historical significance of Harrison's invention and why he 'became the hero not only of clockmakers, but of dreamers and ordinary people everywhere who learned by doing and daring.'" — Starred, Kirkus Reviews

The Washington Post
Lasky balances the science and the human drama of Harrison's story nicely, and Kevin Hawkes's double-spread paintings are as witty as they are luminous. And how about that clever title? — Elizabeth Ward
Publishers Weekly
Lasky and Hawkes (previously teamed for The Librarian Who Measured the Earth) turn their attention to John Harrison, the 18th-century British clockmaker who solved one of history's most vexing navigational problems. Tackling her subject in short, titled segments, Lasky gets off to a bumpy start as she attempts to build a foundational understanding of the complicated role that time plays in measuring longitude (Latitude... is easier to find than longitude because one can measure the height of the sun at noon). But as soon as Lasky turns to Harrison, who spent a lifetime doggedly perfecting a sea-going clock, her prose becomes clear and compelling. Her colorful storytelling provides both a snapshot of history as well as an appreciation for Harrison's remarkable determination and persistence. Hawkes contributes characteristically dappled paintings marked by deft use of light and shadow. His sly sense of humor leavens the information-laden text. An illustration for the dubious Time on Tiptoe Method of determining longitude, for example, finds a cat and rat peering at the night sky on tiptoe alongside two sailors. Many spreads are masterfully envisioned (a beautifully lit group of white-wigged astronomers gathered in an observatory at night is a case in point), and while Hawkes's style is soft-focus, he imparts the impression of the details so important to Harrison. Endpapers feature one of the celebrated timepieces. Ages 8-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is a story of persistence. John Harrison was a man who never gave up his dream despite problems, setbacks and the failure of others to take him seriously. In 1714 the British Parliament passed the Longitude Act, offering a prize of 20,000 pounds sterling for a workable way to measure longitude. Many British ships were sinking because, although sailors could measure latitude, the north-south position, they had no means to measure longitude, the east-west position and could not know their ship's true location. The entries ranged from the scientific to the ridiculous, but a young carpenter combined his working experience with his independent study of mathematics and the laws of motion to solve the problem. John Harrison fashioned a sea clock, known as H1. Harrison was accorded little respect because of his lack of education, but he continued to improve the sea clock. His fifth model, H5, met the requirements, but the prize money was not given to the now seventy-nine-year old John Harrison until his son William presented the case to King George III. The Longitude Prize was never officially awarded but any reader of this story will be aware that John Harrison was a winner. He never gave up, he accomplished what he set out to do and he made voyages safer for all seafarers.
&3151;Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
If you were offered 12 million dollars to solve a navigational problem, could you do it? It took John Harrison, an 18th-century clockmaker, about 40 years to do so. In those years of relentless work, Harrison perfected his seafaring clock that allowed sailors to measure longitude. Luminous, full-page paintings illustrate the book. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The creators of The Librarian Who Measured the Earth (1994) team up again to profile a brilliant, little-known scientist: John Harrison, the 18th-century inventor of the marine chronometer. Spurred by a succession of shipwrecks caused by the inability of navigators to determine longitude, the British Parliament offered a huge prize to anyone who could develop a reliable method. While describing several complex proposals, Lasky traces the career of Harrison, a carpenter with a mania for perfection, who painstakingly built a clock that proved accurate within a second on its test voyage to Lisbon. Not only did Harrison spend the next 37 years refining his design, but it took nearly as long to collect the prize as well. Hawkes reflects the liveliness of Lasky�s account with vividly colored city, country, and shipboard scenes featuring the inventor�s five accurately rendered clocks, along with coteries of wide-eyed onlookers. Younger readers will discover both the historical significance of Harrison�s invention and why he "became the hero not only of clockmakers, but of dreamers and ordinary people everywhere who learned by doing and daring." (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374347888
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
04/02/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
11.09(w) x 10.39(h) x 0.49(d)
Lexile:
840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Kathryn Lasky’s honors and awards include the Washington Post Children’s Book Award for her contribution to nonfiction. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Kevin Hawkes has illustrated many award-winning picture books, including The Librarian Who Measured the Earth, also by Kathryn Lasky, a School Library Journal Best Book. He lives in Gorham, Maine.

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Man Who Made Time Travel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LexyLumpia More than 1 year ago
About John Harrison, the inventor of the chronometer, this book does a very good job in providing historical information through simple words and detailed pictures. As can be seen through the content of the text, author Kathryn Lasky seems to have done her research and illustrator Kevin Hawkes seems to capture 18th century life well. Although this book does contain a large amount of text for a picture book, the story is written in a way that is easy to follow. This style of writing, along with the lovely illustrations, creates a historical account that does not seem as intimidating as a textbook and keeps the information that is being presented interesting.