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The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed (Patience Goodspeed #1)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  288 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
October 1835. Patience Goodspeed, almost thirteen years old, departs from Nantucket aboard her father's whaling ship. Between kitchen duty and whale blubber stench, this voyage is far from a pleasure cruise. At least Papa lets Patience assist the ship's navigator since she's so good at calculations.
But the smooth sailing doesn't last long. Mutinous mates maroon most of t
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 23, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. A great historical fiction about a girl on an 1830's whaling ship and how she saves the day!
Feb 28, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twelve-year-old Patience Goodspeed and her younger brother, six-year-old Tad, were raised by their mother in Nantucket while their father, the captain of a whaling ship, sailed the world on long voyages lasting up to four years. But when their mother dies, Patience's father decides that she and Tad will accompany him on his next voyage on the Morning Star. Patience doesn't want to leave Nantucket and live on a whaling ship. She finds it hard to adjust to life on board, and misses lessons with he ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Sep 27, 2009 Nicola Mansfield rated it it was amazing
Reason for Reading: Read aloud to the 9yo to go along with our history studies.

Comments: When 13yo Patience and 6yo Thadeus's father returns from sea he is determined to take them along with him when he next sets sail. Patience's mother has died while Father was away and being Captain of a Nantucket whaler means he spends more time on sea than land, and now Captain Goodspeed is determined to keep his family together. An extremely reluctant Patience and exuberant Tad soon set sail for a 3 year tr
Kenzi Kraync
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Edwards
Jul 12, 2010 Erin Edwards rated it it was amazing
Annotation and Comment: Patience Goodspeed, a math whiz, has experienced a great loss with the death of her mother. Shortly thereafter, her father orders her and her little brother along on a whaling expedition. Patience’s strong character and mathematical abilities are a great asset on the voyage. The conflict is one of the stronger elements of this story and the reader becomes concerned about Patience’s well-being fairly early on. This novel could be used in a cross-curricular reading assignme ...more
Aug 19, 2010 Maryann rated it really liked it
Great YA historical fiction about life aboard a whaling ship in 1835. Frederick succeeds in teaching with historical detail while entertaining with a strong storyline.
Dec 28, 2010 Carol rated it liked it
Fun book for kids with a little of what a whaleing ship might have been like. I had a hard time with the reality that a father would take his children aborad ship knowing the dangers. Overall a good time reading.
Elizabeth Ferry
Apr 14, 2011 Elizabeth Ferry rated it liked it
I've found yet another fun read re: life on the water. Along the lines of Stowaway by Karen Hesse - written in first person/diary entries.
Apr 04, 2011 Robina rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
This was a pleasant enough read, but despite the unique premise was a bit predictable. As well, none of the characters had much depth and seemed rather like caricatures. I'm giving it three stars because of its creativity in premise/research, because I always appreciate YA books with strong female characters (especially ones who are good in math!), and because it is just endearing enough that I would feel guilty rating it below three stars.
Jun 15, 2011 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an interesting story telling about a girl who got to save her family by her wits, skills, and friendship.
Valerie L
Jul 16, 2011 Valerie L rated it liked it
3.7 is more what I would rate this book. For ages 8 - 14 I would rate it a 4 star! Patience is 13 and about to set sail on her father's whaling ship. Smooth sailing is not what she expects - nor what she gets! Great quick read - adventure and a lot of ship!:)
Sep 28, 2011 Leah rated it it was amazing
I chose to read this story for a unit lesson plan. I quickly became so engrossed in the story that I forgot about looking for lesson plan ideas and read the entire book in a matter of hours (which is rare for me because I despise sitting still for too long). The story is about a 12 year old girl, and her younger brother, who has her school year mapped out in front of her. Patience has a love of math and is very excited to start learning with her math tutor. That is until her father drops a bomb ...more
Nov 05, 2011 B rated it really liked it
Similar to Carry on Mr. Bowditch from a feminine persective, with more of the life-at-sea persepctive and pirate drama to boot!
Gabriana F.
Dec 27, 2011 Gabriana F. rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book a lot. It was great with details, it held a lot of suspense, the main characters would travel a lot, and you would learn things that you would think impossible.
Apr 28, 2015 Kailey rated it it was amazing
Wonderful writing! I love it! I bless the day that I bought it at a used library book sale.

Great plot, interesting characters, and a certain relish for words that brings it all to life. A similar plot to the "Charlotte Doyle" story by Avi, but it's a great book with it's own voice.

I love the writing style! It's fresh and real, and the occasional subtle use of alliteration is genius.
One phrase particularly stayed in my mind, "Something that had clenched tight inside me unfurled at his words like
Ta N.
Aug 07, 2012 Ta N. rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A fun heroine with plenty of spirit; and learn a lot about Cape Cod whaling in the process. I've read this book several times over, easy read, especially love the poems at the beginning of each chapter, too!
Jan 06, 2013 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Wonderful book :) I read it for a class I am taking... but I was pulled in and engaged with the writing of Heather Vogel Frederick! The characters were entertaining... and I really enjoyed the storyline. It was believable and fun to read. I am going to save it out for my own kids to read!
The first and only read aloud that I gave up on this year. I was bored from the first page. I asked the kids if they wanted to quit reading it after three chapters. They said they liked it, so I forged on. Two chapters later they were ready to quit it as well.

Not to mention that graphic descriptions of whale slaughtering are not conducive to lunchtime reading.
This is a good middle-grade novel about the whaling industry in the early 1800s. I can't really imagine there are lot of novels in that category...

It seems to be well-researched (not that I actually know anything about the whaling industry of the time) and, well, appropriately sanitized for the age level. I'm pretty sure she's glossing over a lot of the dirt and grime and especially the crew's behavior. Even if most of the crew might not have been bad guys, the actual bad guys of the story would
Maddy Betancourt
Jan 21, 2014 Maddy Betancourt rated it really liked it
This was one of my very favorites when I was younger, and I was lucky enough to have a signed copy!
Oct 22, 2014 LeeAnn rated it really liked it
Exciting adventure story, from a unique point of view. Sometimes I got bogged down in the whaling scenes, but overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
Miss Amanda
gr 5-7 213 pgs

1835, whaling ship. 13 year old Patience is horrified when her widowed father decides to take her and her 6 year old brother Tad on his whaling ship. Unlike Tad who is excited about the trip, Patience longs to stay on Nantucket and continue her studies. But despite her feelings, her father insists on bringing them both along.

This book was a great story. Although there is a female protagonist, I think this story would also appeal to boys. The story has a lot of action.
Sophie rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2015
Mar 26, 2015 Leah rated it really liked it
Shelves: heart-of-dakota
I read this aloud to the kids for school. The story was entertaining and full of adventure. The kids and I were interested all the way through.
Grace rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2015
Oct 26, 2015 Sallie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
What a fascinating story! At first, I too wondered just why Capt Goodspeed insisted on taking his children on a whaling ship, but then we wouldn't have a story would we? I love all the sailing information, even the taking of a sperm whale, since one of my great-great grandfathers sailed on a whaling ship as the carpenter in the early 1860s. I had to stay up late to keep reading once the mutineers took over the ship. Love the nicknames for them all! Great, great story.
Jul 24, 2016 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, historical
Pretty good kids' book about a young girl who has to go with her dad on a whaling ship. Adventures ensue.
Reminiscent of 'The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle'

Historical fiction coming of age novel about a 12yr old girl, Patience Goodspeed, from Nantucket Island. Her father is the captain of a whaling ship and is gone for years at a time each trip he takes. Her mother dies while he is away and when he returns, against her will, he decides he will take her and her younger brother Thaddeus on his next trip so that the family would stay together. Patience Goodspeed is a math whiz and would love to s
Alexandria Hiam
Reminiscent of 'The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle'

Historical fiction coming of age novel about a 12yr old girl, Patience Goodspeed, from Nantucket Island. Her father is the captain of a whaling ship and is gone for years at a time each trip he takes. Her mother dies while he is away and when he returns, against her will, he decides he will take her and her younger brother Thaddeus on his next trip so that the family would stay together. Patience Goodspeed is a math whiz and would love to s
Jennifer Heise
This was a good solid, if somewhat uninspired, piece of historical fiction set during the era of the whaling trade. What I liked: Patience was a strong heroine, with quite reasonable doubts about the situation she was in. That she possessed high level mathematical talents-- and resulting navigator skills- were a great change of pace from the usual; combining that with skill in baking made for a good mix that was historically believable. There are lots of details about whaling, though even the sc ...more
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“Papa was right, after all. A ship's crew was like a family, and together we had done what we never could have managed alone.” 3 likes
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