Winner of theNewbery Medal, this novel tells the story of th century mathematical wizard Nathaniel Bowditch, whose determination to master sea navigation resulted in The American Practical Navigator This book is the verification that self education is very effective and as viable as any university ed Nathaniel Bowditch was a indentured servant apprentice accountant at the age of 12 after his mother and grandmother died His mathematical ed was so advanced that he needed no training in accounting in the boat supply warehouse He worked in the chandlery for 9 years In that time, he taught himself Latin so he could read Newton s Principia , French to be an interpreter at the conclusion of This book is the verification that self education is very effective and as viable as any university ed Nathaniel Bowditch was a indentured servant apprentice accountant at the age of 12 after his mother and grandmother died His mathematical ed was so advanced that he needed no training in accounting in the boat supply warehouse He worked in the chandlery for 9 years In that time, he taught himself Latin so he could read Newton s Principia , French to be an interpreter at the conclusion of his apprenticeship, astronomy,and then while a 2nd mate on ships he studied Spanish, navigation, lunar sightings, discovered thousands of mathematical errors in Moore s navigation book the standard of the time, a book which led to the demise of uncountable sailors, including his 2 brothers and a bro in law and lost ships All of this while enduring the loss of loved ones at sea and at home.He eventually discovered a new way to sight the moon, even when it could not be seen, using a 3 star sighting around the moon, then he rewrote the navigational manual that is still used today.Wowser I would say that today s early education is lacking and the belief that one MUST go to university to get a higher education is a fallacy Ok so I m sick with a sore throat, but I wanna try to review this anyway because the thoughts are bouncing around my head and I want to get them out In a nutshell IT WAS PRETTY AWESOME Nat Bowditch is my smol science child who just wants to be allowed to Do The Science and Do It Right and life keeps throwing all these obstacles in his way, but he carries on and does the science anyway, b c he s fabulous like that I felt so bad when he had to leave school at age 12 and couldn t even go to co Ok so I m sick with a sore throat, but I wanna try to review this anyway because the thoughts are bouncing around my head and I want to get them out In a nutshell IT WAS PRETTY AWESOME Nat Bowditch is my smol science child who just wants to be allowed to Do The Science and Do It Right and life keeps throwing all these obstacles in his way, but he carries on and does the science anyway, b c he s fabulous like that I felt so bad when he had to leave school at age 12 and couldn t even go to college Our baby is out here begging for an EDUCATION and you re just gonna TURN HIM DOWN But you can t keep a man like Nat down for long He teaches himself everything he needs to know and becomes the biggest expert on navigation on either side of the Atlantic Not content with that, he makes a point to educate other people, tooguys like him who weren t given a chance to go to school He truly has the heart of a teacher, a mentor and those scenes where he helps an allegedly dumb sailor see that MAYBE I M NOT SO DUMB AFTER ALL were some of the most powerful in the whole book, for me I also adored the scenes where Nat usually so quiet reserved soft spoken would start yelling his head off about figures and charts in published texts being wrong and I was just like I feel ya, buddy I feel ya I, too, go off on a bender every time I find any kind of error in a recognized textual authority It s frustrating, guys grins This was a very satisfying book, but, I won t lie to you, it was also a very SAD book When I was a preteen, the age I think the author originally intended it for, my mom said I couldn t read it because there are too many funerals and it will make you cry, and good golly, was she ever right I had a vague memory of that when I started reading it for myself this week but even so, I had NO IDEA how many people were going to freakin DIE in this freakin book So much death Let it never be said that I, Katie Hanna, am too hard on my own characters or give them too many tragedies as long as this beast of a story is being blithely handed out to 7th and 8th graders Likedang Nat has an incredibly rough life That s a fact But he rides out each tragedy and comes out stronger in the end and that s also a fact He draws a lot of sustenance from the constancy consistency of Nature, which I found comforting it s like, in Nat s mind, the sea is always the sea, no matter who you are or what you ve been through The wind is always the wind The stars are always the stars And that is TRUE In fact, he has a little saying about it which he borrowed from his dead mom, and it made me tear up a bit Sometimes, if you look at the stars long enough, they sort of shrink your own troubles down to size I was surprised when I first learned about this biography that had managed the rare feat for a nonfiction book of winning the Newbery Medal, but after reading it, I wholeheartedly support the committee s decision The enthralling story of Nat Bowditch bursts at the seams with stark emotion So often along the path down which the reader is led, the steps are heartbreaking the ordeals Nat Bowditch endured in his career and personal life were both staggering and inspiring No biography other tha I was surprised when I first learned about this biography that had managed the rare feat for a nonfiction book of winning the Newbery Medal, but after reading it, I wholeheartedly support the committee s decision The enthralling story of Nat Bowditch bursts at the seams with stark emotion So often along the path down which the reader is led, the steps are heartbreaking the ordeals Nat Bowditch endured in his career and personal life were both staggering and inspiring No biography other than Cornelia Meigs s Invincible Louisa ever was so profoundly moving, in my view I was emotionally invested in Mr Bowditch s story every step of the way Carry On, Mr Bowditch is a beautiful book I love very much, and will remember always Mini Review I was a little worried that I would be lost reading this book Like the people Nat trips over because they are too slow to understand everything he can, I was worried that I also would trip over Nat s smarts However, the author captures Nat s genius and skills with clarity and simplicity, expertly painting Nat s intelligence without losing us in the telling Nat s brilliant mind is truly incredible to watch, but it wouldn t have mattered so much if it had not been paired with a irr Mini Review I was a little worried that I would be lost reading this book Like the people Nat trips over because they are too slow to understand everything he can, I was worried that I also would trip over Nat s smarts However, the author captures Nat s genius and skills with clarity and simplicity, expertly painting Nat s intelligence without losing us in the telling Nat s brilliant mind is truly incredible to watch, but it wouldn t have mattered so much if it had not been paired with a irresistibly steady heart.Carry on Mr Bowditch shows us that life is full of setbacks, hardships and unforeseen detours and it s the attitude that matters It is our own outlook that affects every aspect of our lives, and Nat s outlook never falters Victimization, self pity, fear and depression are all firmly shut up in a box where they belong, where they can have no bearing on Nat s life as he steps bravely and cheerfully through every valley Nat is not just a navigator on the seas, he also knew how to navigate life in the best way possible with self effacement, courage, and hopeful determination More than just a brilliant sailor with his ship, Nat knows how to sail through life s freak storms and doldrums with Faith, hard work, and consistency Sometimes a hard story, often an inspiring one, and, ultimately, a good story to the very last page