Children's Books

Adkins, Jan. The Craft of Sail. New York: Walker and Company, 1973. Explains how sailing vessels work, with nice illustrations, along with seamanship information.

 Ardizzone, Edward. Tim and Lucy Go to Sea. London: Francis Lincoln Children’s Books, 2006. One of a series about Tim, who goes to sea and has many adventures.

Ardizzone, Edward. Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain. London: Francis Lincoln Children’s Books, 2006. Another in the series about Tim.

Arro, Lena and Catarina Kruusval. By Geezers and Galoshes! New York: R&S Books, 2000. A model ship comes to life for a little boy and his great-uncles.

 Avi. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. New York: Orchard Books, 1990. As the lone young lady on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.

Berleth, Richard. Mary Patten’s Voyage. Morton Grove, Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company, 1994. A sailor recalls how Mary Patten, the 18 year old wife of Captain Joshua Patten, took charge of the clipper ship Neptune’s Car during a race from New York to San Francisco in 1856.

 Borden, Louise. Sea Clocks: the Story of Longitude. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2004. The story of John Harrison, who invented the first accurate chronometer, which enabled sailing ships to determine their longitude. In 1773 he won a prize from the English Parliament for his invention.

Cassidy, John. The Klutz Book of Knots. Palo Alto, California: Klutz, a subsidiary of Scholastic, Inc., 1985. Provides directions and actual practice space for 24 knots. Elementary through adult.

Coote, Roger. The Sailor through History. New York: Thompson Learning, 1993. Life of the sailor, from Polynesia to the present day.

 Duncan, Fred B. Deepwater Family. New York: Random House, 1969. Born on the Florence (Bath, 1877) the author recalls his childhood on his father’s Down Easter.

Helldorfa, Mary. Sailing to the Sea. New York: Viking, 1991. A young boy’s first sailing experience.

Kalman, Bobbi. Nicola’s Floating Home. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company, 1995. The story of a contemporary family living aboard a sailboat.

Kirk, Shoshanna. T is for Tugboat: Navigating the Seas from A to Z. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2008. A wonderfully illustrated book of nautical vocabulary. The inner covers have good signal flag alphabet illustrations.

Kirkpatrick, Katherine. The Voyage of the Continental. New York: Holiday House, 2002. This historical novel, written in the form of a diary, is a mystery story taking place during a young girl’s voyage around Cape Horn. Upper elementary level.

Lasky, Kathryn. Born in the Breezes: the Seafaring Life of Joshua Slocum. New York: Orchard Books, 2001. A short chapter book with beautiful illustrations, this tells the story of Joshua Slocum and his sail around the world in Spray, a rebuilt sloop, as well as his earlier life as a sea captain. One of his vessels was the ship B. Aymar, built in Searsport, Maine.

McCurdy, Michael. The Sailor’s Alphabet. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. A traditional alphabet sea shanty. Illustrated with scratch-board drawings.

McKay, Amy. Sailing Days: Stories and Poems about Sailors and the Sea. Woodbridge, Suffolk, England,: ACC Children’s Classics, 1998. Ages 9-12.

Parker, Neal Evan. Captain Annabel. Camden, Maine: Downeast Books, 2004. Annabel, a little girl in contemporary times, grows up to be a sea captain.

Perrow, Angeli. Sirius, The Dog Star. Camden Maine: Downeast Books, 2002. Set in 1897 on the East Coast, this is the story of Nathan and a dog, Sirius, on board the Goldhunter. Based on a true story. Older elementary level.

Rand, Gloria. Sailing Home: The Story of a Childhood at Sea. New York: North-South Books, 2001.

Based on the true story of a real family’s life aboard a four-masted sailing bark in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is a great children’s story with beautiful illustrations, and it includes real photos at the end.