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THE MAN WHO MADE TIME TRAVEL by Kathryn Lasky Kirkus Star


by Kathryn Lasky & illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: April 2nd, 2003
ISBN: 0-374-34788-3
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

The creators of The Librarian Who Measured the Earth (1994) team up again to profile a brilliant, little-known scientist: John Harrison, the 18th-century inventor of the marine chronometer. Spurred by a succession of shipwrecks caused by the inability of navigators to determine longitude, the British Parliament offered a huge prize to anyone who could develop a reliable method. While describing several complex proposals, Lasky traces the career of Harrison, a carpenter with a mania for perfection, who painstakingly built a clock that proved accurate within a second on its test voyage to Lisbon. Not only did Harrison spend the next 37 years refining his design, but it took nearly as long to collect the prize as well. Hawkes reflects the liveliness of Lasky’s account with vividly colored city, country, and shipboard scenes featuring the inventor’s five accurately rendered clocks, along with coteries of wide-eyed onlookers. Younger readers will discover both the historical significance of Harrison’s invention and why he “became the hero not only of clockmakers, but of dreamers and ordinary people everywhere who learned by doing and daring.” (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)