Jean Lee Latham ALICE BROOKS McGUIRE - Essay

ALICE BROOKS McGUIRE

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The author of ["Carry On, Mr. Bowditch"] merits special commendation for her writing ability. She has created out of a mass of involved, technical material a living, dramatic story which will hold the interest of most young people. It reads like a lively sea yarn, yet does not skimp on the mathematical and navigation data. In fact, Bowditch's own simple explanation to his unlettered crew could not have been any more lucid than Miss Latham's account of the discoveries of this "human calculating machine." (p. 8)

Alice Brooks McGuire, in New York Herald Tribune Book Review, Part 2 (© I.H.T. Corporation; reprinted by permission), November 13, 1955.

Matthew Fontaine Maury was a fighter…. He was destined to fight all his life against odds for his ideas…. [In "Trail Blazer of the Seas"] Jean Latham dramatizes his struggle to get his wind and current charts made and their conclusions accepted. The reader rushes ahead as full of interest in these achievements as in a battle at sea. It is the technique used successfully in the Newbery Prize-winning "Carry On, Mr. Bowditch." In her Newbery acceptance speech Mrs. Latham said it was being "back yard familiar" with the world of her story before she proceeded to "flesh the bones with reality." It is no small achievement to do this with a fairly uneventful life…. (p. 12)

New York Herald Tribune Book Review, Part 2 (© I.H.T. Corporation; reprinted by permission), November 18, 1956.