Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

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Carry On, Mr. Bowditch









Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
by Jean Lee Latham




We were first introduced to Carry On, Mr. Bowditch about seventeen years ago and read it at that time, then a short time later, then a few years later for a book club our boys participated in, and I just recently read it again.  That’s how well I like this book. There are very few books I have read four times.  This fascinating, well-written historical fiction novel has plenty of adventure, character and life lessons, navigation facts, and inspiration for us to be motivated to learn new things and not give up due to circumstances that are beyond our control.

Nathanial {Nat} Bowditch, who was born in the late 1700s, in Salem, Massachusetts, had a great love for learning and great plans, even as a young boy, to receive an advanced degree from Harvard University.  But at the age of ten he had to leave school to work for his father and at twelve he was signed to be an indentured servant for nine years as a bookkeeper in a ship chandlery.  What seemed like a dead end for him turned out to be about the greatest blessing he could have received.  By day he was required to keep the books at the chandlery, but during his free time he had access to books that helped him to school himself ~ he learned advanced mathematics, navigation, languages, and more.  He is living proof that a classroom is not necessary to gain an education.  When his apprenticeship was completed, he traveled the world on ships, discovered errors in the widely used Moore’s Practical Navigator and worked through them and made the corrections, and used his knowledge to teach and inspire others.   Nathanial Bowditch, the founder of modern maritime navigation, wrote “The New American Practical Navigator”, which was first published in 1802 and to this day is carried on board every commissioned U.S. Naval vessel.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch received the 1956 Newbery Medal, and for good reason.  I don’t know which other books were nominated that year but I do agree that this book is a great contribution to children’s literature.  {Click here to see a list of the Newbery Medal books}

Give this book a try {it’s a great family read aloud} and see if it enriches your life like it has mine.

More book reviews…
The Alliance
Sparkly Green Earrings
Mao’s Last Dancer
I Am Potential
James Herriot’s books: All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All
Left To Tell
The Happiness Project



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6 Responses to Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

  1. Gretchen@BoxyColonial February 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Thanks for the recommendation….I’m on the hunt for good family read alouds AND we’re studying that period in history right now (found you on Tatertots and Jello). have a great weekend!

    • Lori February 25, 2013 at 11:22 am #

      You’re welcome. I hope your family enjoys this book. I’m popping on over right now to visit your blog. Thanks for visiting mine.

  2. Charlene@A Pinch of Joy February 24, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    I don’t know of any books I’ve read FOUR times – that’s a good recommendation! Love the Newbury Medal books and look for them too! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday!

  3. Crystelle Boutique February 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Thank you so much for telling me about this book. I am always looking for a good book to read WITH my kids… 🙂

    I will look for this book at the library!

    hugs x

    • Lori February 26, 2013 at 1:26 am #

      You are welcome, Crystelle. After you read it with your kids, let me know how you all like it, or love it.


  1. Gift from the Sea | A Bright and Beautiful LifeA Bright and Beautiful Life - October 1, 2013

    […] book reviews… Mao’s Last Dancer Carry On, Mr. Bowditch I Am Potential James Herriot’s books: All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and […]

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