Many Follow the Voyage Classrooms are preparing for the trip by reading the novel Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Latham, published by Houghton Mifflin.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is a novel of the life of Nathaniel Bowditch, who loved math and learning, but had to leave school when his family needed his help. When Nat was twelve, his father indentured him to a ship chandlery for 9 years, which dashed his hopes of someday going to Harvard to study math. Still he spent his spare time learning everything he could on his own. After his indenture ended, he sailed with a merchant ship, and became interested in the mathematics of navigation. He was upset at the errors in the book of tables that he used for navigation, and began the laborious work of correcting them. Nathaniel Bowditch eventually decided to write his own book of navigational tables, which he hoped would be error-free, and would also include navigation lessons and general information needed by sailors.

**As you read the novel here are some questions to answer:**

- What is the setting (time and place) of the book?
- Who are the major characters besides Nat Bowditch?
- Why did Captain Prince need to hire a second crew for the Astrea?
- How old was Nat when he went off to sea?
- How tall is Nat?
- Why did Nat teach himself Latin?
- What was his youngest sibling's name?
- What discouraging things did Ben Meeker tell Nat at the beginning of chapter?
- What are some major events in the book?
- What’s a husking bee?
- What was Nat’s favorite subject in school?
- What did Nat look like?

All good sailors need a sextant to mark their location of latitude and to find the North Star, make a sextant of your own.

Make a simple compass to find magnetic north or south, depending on where you live

Here is a full Nathaniel Bowditch Curriculum for your teacher.

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