Author: Jean Lee Latham
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; Paperback
A Learning Language Arts Through Literature book: Tan Book (sixth grade)
A fictionalized biography of the mathematician and astronomer who realized his childhood desire to become a ship's captain and authored The American Practical Navigator. Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in Salem in the early days, when tall-masted ships from foreign ports crowded the wharves. But Nat didn't have the makings of a sailor; he was too physically small. Nat may have been slight of build, What no one guessed was 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.