Book Recommendations, Parenting

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

Twenty-six years ago, my husband’s co-worker recommended a fictionalized juvenile biography. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Latham became an immediate favorite. I read it to our sons and insisted my husband read it during his bus ride to work.

As a child, Nathanial Bowditch constantly overcame obstacles pursuing an education. As an adult, he faced danger sailing internationally after the American Revolution.

However, I believe the life lessons flowing seamlessly from the narrative were the reasons for the book’s impact. Serving others, duty, self-directed learning, perseverance, perspective, the value of teaching, the non-academic benefits of education, and patience with people of different talents were learned, and later, modeled by Nathanial as he struggled from childhood through adulthood.

I’m just like a chair you stumble over in the dark,” Elizabeth said. “It isn’t the chair’s fault, but you kick it anyway.

Nat blinked. “What are you talking about?”

Your brain. It’s too fast. So you stumble on other people’s dumbness. And—you want to kick something.

But you shouldn’t because even if people are dumb, they aren’t chairs are they?”

… He always remembered how she said, “Your brain—it’s too fast.” He would bite back his impatience.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Jean Latham

Any book recommendations?

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