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Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Summary:Readers today are still fascinated by & #147;Nat," an eighteenth-century nautical wonder and mathematical wizard. Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in a sailor's world --Salem in the early days, when...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Deserved the Newberry Medal!

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.

My Favorite Kids Book

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.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

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.


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.

Victoria's (age 9) Review--Wonderful Book!

Carry On Mr. Bowditch is an exciting historical fiction book that is filled with adventure and discovery. The story is about a boy who is the fourth child of six children who grows up to be a math genius. The names of the six children, oldest to youngest, are Mary, Hab, Lizza, Nat, William, and Sammy. They all live in Salem, MA with their mother, father, and grandmother. I think that the author, Mrs. Lathem, was trying to tell us that even a genius can have some emotional times too. What I liked about this book is that it seemed as if Nat took me aboard his ship to different lands and to adventure in learning. I recommend it!
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