A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
By the start of the eighteenth century, many thousands of sailors had perished at sea because their captains had no way of knowing longitude, their east-west location. Latitude, the north-south position, was easy enough, but once out of sight of land not even the most experienced navigator had a sure method of fixing longitude. So the British Parliament offered a substantial monetary prize to whoever could invent a device to determine exact longitude at sea. Many of the world's greatest minds tried -- and failed -- to come up with a solution. Instead, it was a country clockmaker named John Harrison who would invent a clock that could survive wild seas and be used to calculate longitude accurately. But in an aristocratic society, the road to acceptance was not a smooth one, and even when Harrison produced not one but five elegant, seaworthy timekeepers, each an improvement on the one that preceded it, claiming the prize was another battle. Set in an exciting historical framework --telling of shipwrecks and politics -- this is the story of one man's creative vision, his persistence against great odds, and his lifelong fight for recognition of a brilliant invention.
About the authors
Duan Petricic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, but loved to pretend that he grew up in Zemun, an old city located just across the river (and now a part of Belgrade). As a boy he did all the forbidden things that children do, but what Duan loved most was to draw. He started drawing at age four and, encouraged by his parents, he never stopped. He found inspiration in everything, and drawing became a way to communicate with the people around him. Two books that were very important to his childhood were an old encyclopedia with lots of pictures and The Boys from Pavel’s Street by Ferenc Molnár. Early on, he was moved by the drawings found within the encyclopedia. As he grew older, he adored many artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer, and Picasso. Duan has been illustrating children’s books for many years. He has received numerous honors and awards for his work, in North America and internationally, including an IBBY Certificate of Honour and an Alberta Book Award for On Tumbledown Hill (Red Deer Press). The Longitude Prize (FSG) was selected as a Robert F. Siebert Honor Book for a Distinguished Informative Book for Children in the US. His beautiful, evocative illustrations for Mattland (2009) by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert garnered Duan the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award from the Canadian Library Association as well as the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. His illustrations for Better Together (2011) by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro were described as “sublime” by Kirkus Reviews. When it came time to reissue Robert Munsch’s Mud Puddle (2012), Duan was Annick’s first choice to reillustrate the classic. The results are a fresh and energetic look that will delight a whole new generation of young Munsch fans. Duan’s latest book, The Man with the Violin (2013), was greeted with rave reviews, including starred reviews in Kirkus and uill & uire. Written by Kathy Stinson, this beautifully evocative picture book tells the true story of world-renowned violinist, Joshua Bell, who conducted an experiment by anonymously playing his priceless violin in the Washington D.C. subway station. Luckily for Duan, his profession is his favorite hobby and he is happy when at work. To young artists he would give this advice: “Think, think, think, think, draw!” Duan lives in Toronto where he is a regular contributor as an editorial cartoonist in the Toronto Star.
- Unknown, Boston Globe - Horn Book Award
- Unknown, American Library Association Notable Children's Books
- Unknown, Robert F. Sibert Award - Honor
- Unknown, NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
"This rousing history focuses on the life of the British clockmaker who invented an ingenious way of measuring longitude at sea . . . John Harrison eventually succeeded overcoming not only the practical problem, but also the prejudices of the scientific community against his humble background and his unusual method."-Starred,School Library Journal