Carry on, Mr. Bowditch

Carry on, Mr. Bowditch


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Readers today are still fascinated by “Nat,” an eighteenth-century nautical wonder and mathematical wizard. Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in a sailor’s world—Salem in the early days, when tall-masted ships from foreign ports crowded the wharves. But Nat didn’t promise to have the makings of a sailor; he was too physically small. Nat may have been slight of build, but no one guessed that he had the persistence and determination to master sea navigation in the days when men sailed only by “log, lead, and lookout.” Nat’s long hours of study and observation, collected in his famous work, The American Practical Navigator (also known as the “Sailors’ Bible”), stunned the sailing community and made him a New England hero.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618250745
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 05/19/2003
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 48,251
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.67(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

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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Carry on, Mr. Bowditch 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
jjvors on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful account of life in seafaring Salem Massachusetts from 1779 to about 1800. The protagonist grows from a young boy to a bookkeeper's apprentice to a young man, enduring sorrows and disappointments, while steadfastly keeping to his goal.
SeriousGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was reminiscent of Laura Ingalls Wilder's account about growing up in the unorganized territories of the midwest in the Little House series; better known as historical fiction. I call it biographical with a little imagination thrown in. It covers the life of Nathanial Bowditch, navigator extraordinaire. While the details of his childhood and subsequent personal adult years are somewhat abbreviated for adults, the content is perfect for children. I appreciated the way Latham didn't minimized or sugarcoat the tragedy in Bowditch's life. Nor did she gloss over his relationships with his first wife Elizabeth, or Polly, his second. What does come across is Bowditch's love of mathematics and the seriousness with which he applies it to navigating the high seas. He does not suffer fools easily but his passion for teaching is enthusiastic and patient.
landism on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a children's (somewhat fictionalized) biography of Nathaniel Bowditch, a mathematician who wrote a much more accurate edition of The American Practical Navigator. Nathaniel Bowditch's work was important for sailors who needed a reliable navigation system when they were far out at sea. Carry on, Mr. Bowditch does a nice job introducing children to an important and not-very-well-known American mathematician. Jean Lee Latham develops Nathaniel Bowditch's character very well and reading about Nat as a person makes him more interesting. It prompted me to research Nathaniel Bowditch after I finished the book. This book is not entirely historically accurate, but it is an excellent story about living in the late 18th/early 19th century. I would recommend this story for fifth-eighth graders because of some challenging prose later on in the story.
goodnightmoon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My biggest problem with this book was its lack of detail. Mom dies, then grandma dies, then 9 years pass. And apparently sailing on a ship is no big deal (compare to Slave Dancer!). I like the character of Nat, but no real insights here into period life. I need some emotion and some description to really get it, I guess!
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nat has every reason to expect that he will be able to attend college and go on to a happy professional life. Then everything is taken away from him. His father has a tragedy at sea and is forced to leave his life as a captain and become a menial worker. His mother dies and his father takes his sorrows out in drink. Nat must then leave school and become an indentured servant. His dreams of school seem lost to him forever.Nat never succumbs to feeling sorry for himself or bitterness. Instead, he finds a way to use his workplace to better himself, learning everything he can about ships and navigation. He is able to take this new knowledge and teach others, becoming well known as a brilliant mathematician and navigator.The life of Nathaniel Bowditch is a wonderful story of finding good in bad and becoming all one can become.
hobbitprincess on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At one time, I had planned to read all the Newbery Medal books, but I never finished. This one, however, is by an author from Buckhannon, WV, so I wanted to make sure I did at least read it. It's great! The novel tells the a fictionalized story of the life of Nathanial Bowditch, a famous early American who was a self-taught astronomer and navigator. I didn't know much about him before I read the book, but it motivated me to learn a little bit more. The story is good from an inspirational point of view too, because Nat never gave up, despite being indentured and suffering numerous setbacks. If there is a young person interested in history, this is a good book to send their way.
ABVR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Captivating based-on-fact tale of young Nat Bowditch, who grows up in a seafaring family in Salem, MA just after the Revolution and becomes world-famous as a ship's navigator and practical mathematician. One of the most important books of my youth . . . a revelation for a kid who, like Nat, didn't quite "fit in" because he loved books and science and learning. I revelled in the fact that Nat triumphs *because* he's book-smart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book for Battle of the Books in 6th grade and 27 years later it still captivates my attention.
DavidHT11 More than 1 year ago
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham is a narrative primarily about a young boy named Nathaniel Bowditch. Nathaniel grew up in the town of Salem and has an exceptional knack for math. As a child he was indentured to Ropes and Hodges Ship Chandlery for nine years where he becomes an excellent book keeper. He learns heaps of new things duryin his indenture including: learning to speak French and Latin, keeping detailed notebooks on subjects such as astronomy, and even writing his own almanac. He desires to go to Harvard but when his indenture is finally over he becomes a member of a ship and travels all over the world. On this ship he becomes the commander of a watch on deck and in his spare time studies and teaches the crew members useful math tricks. The book ends with Nat's fifth voyage which carries him into his early thirties. This book is an extreely easy read. The characters are relatively simple and the plot easy to follow. It is written in a fairly large font and frequently has pictures that take up a half to two full pages. My favorite character from the book is a little girl named Elizabeth who sheds some light, figuratively speaking, on Nathaniel Bowditch which changes the way he handles situations with other people for the rest of his life. I would reccommend this book to anybody who desires a quick, easy, and pleasurable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nathaniel Bowditch has moved to Salem, Massachusetts, finished his indenture, and is now going out to sea. What will he do there? What will he do with his time home? He will do many things in his adventure. The book goes into great detail about what happens; it also gives an excellent description about the characters and places. These are some of the reasons I like this book and think it is excellent. Don't forget to read it!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. My brother read this book a few years back then I had to read it for school, I loved it. I read it in a week. it was a fast even though I am the slowest reader. for you slow readers, this book is very quick.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book as part of my homeschool program. I really enjoyed it and found myself reading it in every spare minute I had. I do not greatly enjoy history, but this is one of the best books I've ever read. Fantastic Book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently purchased this book, and it has become one of my immediate favorites! This book tells the truly wonderous story of Nathaniel Bowditch, a young man who, despite being physically small all his life, grows up to be one of the greatest navigators of his time! While reading this book, you will learn many extraordinary things about Bowditch's life, such as how he discovered a new way to take lunars (A procedure used to find the position of a ship), or how he found eight thousand mistakes in a navigation book that men's lives depended on. If you want a thrilling, yet factual, reading experience, then this is the book for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its okay, I mean it gets so tiresom. Nathanial Bowditch and his navigation skills, not a very 'exciting' book. You could read better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book captured my imagination when I was in elementary school so much so I wrote a book report on it three years in a row. Since then I have read it dozens of times and still enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a very confusing book and was kind of snoozy
Guest More than 1 year ago
My librarian recommended this book to me because she knows I am a bookworm. It was amazing. I love to get caught up in books, and I could barely put this one down!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Liked this book so much I read it 5 Times! And I still want to read it again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great book about a smart boy who does great thing
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is an amazing book because I do not like reading books, but this book I wanted to read in my spare time and all the other books seemed boring. Nat Bowditch was a mathematician and a sailor. It is sad that most of his family died. He went on many ships and lasted through many storms.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked reading Carry on Mr. Bowditch. It taught me some ways of navigation, that math problems only have one answer, and some things that can happen on a sea voyage. I liked reading this book because it had adventure,and scary parts. I think others would like this book because I liked it and I don't even like reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a school subject in the Total Language Plus program. My brother , my Dad, and I nicknamed it COMB, using the initials. COMB is a book that includes most of the details of Nat Bowditch's life. I was reluctant of reading this true story at first because I didn't like long books, but then I caught on because of the action and timeline . We liked this book because of the action and cool , neatly described characters . I think that people should read this good book that teaches lots of different subjects like math, navagating, and history. If you love pirate stories or non-violent action, this is the book for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Carry on, Mr. Bowditch seemed so much like a story and you felt like you were there. It didn't seem like a biography at all. I think it is a book everyone should read. This guy is so amazing, he's a genius, and very creative. I loved it. It's a must for all you people who love the seas, early American history, science, or just like to read.