May 28, 2009

Spring Children's Book Parade: The Longitude Prize

Today's book post for the Spring Children's Book Parade (hosted by the six o'clock stitch) is The Longitude Prize by Joan Dash.

This wonderful, informative and exciting book details the life and work of John Harrison who spent himself in the creation of a way to measure longitude while traveling the seas. This plainly written story will have you on the edge of your seat and marveling at the scientific minds which competed for The Longitude Prize, a reward offered by act of Parliament for the discovery of a safe way to measure location when at sea. Though Harrison was not well-to-do, nor formally educated, and though at many times he was scoffed at, children and adult readers alike will find themselves rooting for this man who persevered and changed world travel through his inventions.

This is another one of those gems that comes along every once in awhile which is bound to become a classic! Dash's writing sets out the history of great scientific discovery in a way which gets right to the human element and which is easy to understand. (Another lovely book in this style is How We Found Out About Germs by Isaac Asimov, which is unfortunately out of print, but worth searching out). I highly recommend finding a copy of this book to read, particularly if you have children who show a bent toward the sciences. Happy Reading!

Note: I found out about this excellent book through the Bluedorns, a family in Illinois who also publish homeschooling materials and have a very helpful website, Trivium Pursuit. The Bluedorns have published a book called Hand That Rocks The Cradle. In Hand That Rocks The Cradle, the Bluedorn's son Nathaniel has compiled the pertinent information on over 400 of their family's favourite books from over 25 years of learning and reading aloud as a family.

Please stop by the the six o'clock stitch and check out all the comments on the Spring Children's Book Parade to find out what books are beloved by other readers - maybe you'll find yourself a new family favourite!

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