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-mastered 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, 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 "Sailor's Bible"), stunned the sailing community and made him a New England hero.
Jean Lee Latham chronicles Nat's journey, from his modest beginnings as a ship chandler's apprentice, to his first sea voyage, to his rigorous self-education, to the triumphs of his fine-tuned mastery of navigation--even in the midst of monsoons or pea-soup fog. When Nat Bowditch had mastered the secrets of navigation for himself, he realized that he could explain it so clearly that he could easily teach others what he had learned. In turn, Jean Lee Latham has brought Nat's amazing discoveries and accomplishments to life for generations of readers. Recommended for ages 10 and up. The 1956 Newbery Medal Winner.