Friday, October 7, 2011

All Sail Set - 52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 36

For Week 36 of the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge, I am reading All Sail Set by Armstrong Sperry. This is one of the books that I am reading aloud to Sophia as part of her history curriculum. (I'm following the book recommendations of Sonlight, even though I didn't purchase the curriculum this year.)

This historical fiction book centers around Enoch Thacher, a young boy who is fascinated with the sea and ships. His friend is an old captain, Messina Clarke, who teaches him the ways of the sea and tells him stories of when he was a young man and sailed the world.

Enoch enjoys being in East Boston because ships are built, docked, and sailed from this location. (As a side note, we have enjoyed reading names of places throughout New England where we visited last month. Each time we come across a place we visited, it brings back wonderful memories of our trip and gives us a mental image of where the book is set.)

Enoch's father, who lost his fortune at sea, suddenly dies. Enoch must find work support his mother and turns to Donald McKay who is a famous and well-respected clipper ship designer. He also was a friend of his father which provides a "way in" to see McKay.

McKay takes Enoch under his wing as he lofts, builds, and rigs the Flying Cloud. The Flying Cloud is a great clipper that takes its maiden, record-breaking trip around the Horn. The book accounts the journey of the sailors on board the Flying Cloud during the 1800s.

At this point, the book is hasn't yet captured our attention. There are a lot of nautical and ship terminology that we are simply not familiar with which makes it a bit of a challenge to read. However, perhaps once they are sailing on the Flying Cloud and it moves beyond the building of the ship, the book will pick up. Or not. We'll see what All Sail Set holds for us.

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