High Seas Adventure with The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

| | | |

Blog, She Wrote: High Seas Adventure with The True Confessions of Charlotte DoyleThis post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

Summer time is a wonderful time for adventure even the kind we experience in books. Join me for some High Seas Adventure with The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

Sailing Resources for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

The setting for this story is a two masted sailing ship called a brig as she sails on the open sea. Any nautical tale is full of unfamiliar terms and responsibilities. Half the fun of this book is deciphering the sailor code. Here a few ideas for a sailing adventure activity:

  • Learn How to Make Knots– We’ve done a lot of knot making in our homeschool. Not only did sailors need to know many knots for various functions, but we use them a lot in camping.  There are lots of online instruction sites including You Tube along with a Klutz Book of Knots (if you can get your hands on one). Other sources for knots are the Dangerous Book for Boys and a game called Knot So Fast by ThinkFun.
  • Repair the Sails– Have you ever repaired anything you’ve ripped? Have you ever hand sewn canvas? Try using a needle and thread to fix a whole in your pants or hand sew a bag using a thick fabric. Is it easy? Can you imagine making everything this way and mending a ship’s sails like the crew members did?

Learn More about Sailing in The Early 1800s

Doing the research on the context of our novel might shed some light on how the characters behaved.

  • Etiquette– What was expected of people in various classes of the time? How was Charlotte expected to behave? How did etiquette contribute to how she treated the crew and what they initially thought of her? This book is just as much about character and the interpersonal relationships between people as it is is about sailing and the voyage. How did etiquette play a part in the plot?
  • Famous Ship Captains, ships, and ports– along with popular sailing routes. You can learn a lot about a time when you read about the people of the time. What was it like to cross the Atlantic in the early 19th century?

Blog, She Wrote Resources on Sailing Adventures

As you may have guessed, this topic is a favorite at our house. We’ve got some fun units and activities for you.

Other Sailing Adventure Books

If your kids like stories of adventure at sea, check out these other titles.

  • Swallows & Amazons– This is a series of books based on a group of kids who sail the lake district of England and have adventures there as well as the open water of the ocean.
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch– A classic tale of a man who taught himself and learned navigation. You’ll learn a lot about what sailing was like and how the first book of American navigation came to be.
  • Treasure Island– Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of pirates and treasure has plenty of time at sea.
  • Under Drake’s Flag: A Story of the Spanish Main– Any story about early explorers will have an emphasis on their ships and journeys.

The story True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is a tale of adventure on the high seas- of a girl from the upper crust of society who learns some valuable lessons about life and about who she is. It’s filled with adventure and intrigue and gives us a glimpse of what life was like on a large shipping vessel in 1832.

Other bloggers from the iHN are sharing their summer books with big ideas today too.BookBigIdeaSummer Drop in and see what other summer book adventures you can enjoy!

Similar Posts


  1. What a great mini-unit, Heather! My son loved practicing knots with the Klutz Book of Knots when we flew to Florida; it makes for a wonderful travel activity as well.

  2. Thanks Eva! Learning knots has proven to be very useful around here. Great idea to do it on a road trip!

  3. Oh gosh, I just thought of how horrible it would be to HAND sew a sail, all those yards of canvas. It was horrible enough sewing the kids tee-pee and that was 5 yards or so of fabric.

Comments are closed.