Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - The Discovery of Longitude

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Book Review - The Discovery of Longitude

The Discovery of Longitude
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About the Book
Scientific discovery changes the world! Discover the fascinating story behind one of the most important changes to nautical navigation in this nonfiction book for young readers. More than 300 years ago, explorers wandered the seas using unreliable maps. What they needed to know was the longitude of their locations, but for that they needed accurate time keeping. Unfortunately, no accurate source of time measurement at sea existed. In 1714 the British government decided to offer a reward to anyone who could solve the problem. Learned men and great thinkers alike tried unsuccessfully to work out a solution. They declared it unsolvable! Carpenter John Harrison was intrigued; he thought he might have a solution. He worked for years to design a clock that functioned accurately at sea, even though no one believed he could do it. Even after his timepiece was demonstrated effective at sea, he was still not acknowledged for his ingenious solution. It took many years and intervention by the king to grant Harrison the recognition and reward he deserved for solving the problem of how to accurately track longitude and for winning the British government prize. The book offers a detailed map of the world at that time and includes the advancements in the use of longitude since then.

My Take on the Book
If you enjoy history, you will want to read this book to your child.It appears to be a book for children, however I believe you will agree after reading this nonfiction book , you learned some new and interesting information. I know I did.

The book is based on facts about John Harrison, an Englishman, who took the challenge to created a clock which would assist sailors in determining the longitude. The sailors knew how to find the latitude and directions of north, south, east and west, but time differences were a puzzle and often sailors were lost or crashed into rocks while traveling. 

The amazing part of this was John Harrison was using materials available in the year of 1737. He worked on his invention for over 40 years. What a wonderful discovery by this intelligent man.
I know you and your child will enjoy this story.

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