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Sea Clocks: The Story of Longitude

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  19 reviews
"For hundreds of years ships had been sailing to places far and near without really knowing where they were!"
Sailors knew how to measure latitude, their location north or south of the equator, but they could not measure longitude, their location east or west of their home port. Because of this, many lives were lost worldwide. The key to solving this problem lay in devis
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Hardcover, 48 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Joan
May 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Common Core needs
I felt this missed the mark. While Borden covers all the major points, I don't feel she got across to the young reader just how this clock maker solved the longitude problem. The emphasis was on the battle the Harrisons had to fight before finally being awarded the prize for solving the longitude puzzle. While interesting, a great human interest story and a cautionary tale...fighting "city hall" is not for the faint hearted...it is not truly the important part of the story. The important part is ...more
Elizabeth Ramsey
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
For many years sailors knew how to measure latitude for their location of north or south of the equator. But they could not measure longitude of their location east or west of their home. This caused many people to die because getting to a certain location was hard. To solve this problem a certain clock was made so that this wouldn't happen anymore. John Harrison worked for more than forty years to create the perfect clock.

This picture book is great for introducing longitude and latitude to an e
...more
Mickayla
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Genre: Informational
Grade range: 4-6
This book was interesting. It was set up more like a fiction, story like read rather than a fact read, which is cool for an informational book. But it goes on the adventure of creating the first sea clock. This wasn't something I found super interesting. But the way the book is written is very cool!
Shana
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating.
Jailen Robinson
Nov 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: school
I found this book a bit boring and long for a children's book though I believe this would work well in a history or social studies classroom and depending on the student they might find this interesting. I would not use this for any grade.
Abbie Shawano
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought that this book was a great informational book in relation to social studies; the more geographical and historical aspect of it. I also thought that it would be very appealing to young readers because of the illustrations and depiction of the world on the cover of it. Growing up, the bigger the concepts, the more interested I would become. This book tells the process of creating a longitude clock for sailors in the 17th century. It tells the good, the bad, and the outcome of each making ...more
Kory Bootsma
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Sea Clocks is "the story about longitude"; the story about how to solve the problem of understanding where a ship's location was when placed at sea. It follows the historical life of John Harrison, the clockmaker who tried to solve the problem of this longitudinal enigma. Although the story gives an accurate and historical account of the thought processes and clock-making trials of Harrison, it quickly becomes tedious and repetitive as clock after clock is described how and why it was created an ...more
Amanda
Jun 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Fittingly enough, Sea Clocks’ plot line follows the chronological timeline as sea clocks were invented and subsequently implemented. This story breaks up its sentences so that they are short yet still reminiscent of natural speech rhythms, which may help reluctant and slow readers. It is a bit heavy on what seems to be unimportant details at the beginning, though the text picks up pace and shares the story of how John Harrison created the sea clock (to solve the “longtitude problem”). It does no ...more
Tim Vandenberg
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great informational text read-aloud on the amazing perseverance, stick-to-it-iveness, and ingenuity of John Harrison, the humble and now-famous inventor of Sea Clocks. Great art accompanies this fascinating text! Very accessible for grades 5+.

Strongly recommended! :)

(Originally read in 2007, read again today: Oct. 6th, 2014.)
Daniel
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all
well worth reading.

It was a Yorkshire carpenter who made the first clocks accurate enough to determine Longitude at sea.

Determining Latitude is easy.

Determining Longitude is far from easy.
Krista
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
The story of how one clock maker found the answer to telling a ships longitude at sea. This helped everyone navigate the waters better.
Tony Keefer
More like a 4.5
The fascinating story of John Harrison. Would be a great book to share in many class rooms.
April
Love this book!
Naomi
Apr 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting story, but felt that it might lose a kid's interesting with the style of writing. It barely held my attention.
Hannah Meyer
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ls3013-02
Clocks, Longitude, Non-Fiction, Inventions, Historical, Geography
Valerie
Oct 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ian
I was reminded of this book because I read an essay about the longitude prize and all the scientists who worked on it. I loved that I could find a children's book about this.
Colby Sharp
Wow! The life of John Harrison is so interesting.
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