Your Questions Answered: Cadets, Can You Recommend A Favorite Nautical Book For High School Students?

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A few high school classes have asked our cadets:

Will you recommend some nautical books that they we can read as we follow Sea Term 2023?

Check out their suggestions!  Some middle school students may be ready to read a few of these novels.  

“I enjoy reading nautical books as an adult. I loved In The Heart Of The Sea: The Tragedy Of The Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick.  The most recent book that I read that I really loved was Until The Sea Shall Free Them: Life, Death, And Survival In The Merchant Marine by Robert Frump." – 4/C Timothy Shea (MTRA – Boston, MA)

"Senior year of high school, I took a class called Voyages And Vessels at Guilford High School. This was a two-period class. One dedicated for building my kayak, and the other for reading nautical books. I read Moby Dick by Herman Melville, In The Heart Of The Sea: The Tragedy Of The Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick, and the Life of Pi by Yann Martel in this course. My favorite was the Life of Pi because I was inspired to work as hard in my own life just as Pi works hard on his boat to survive." - 4/C Edward Barlage (FENG – Guilford, CT)

Book: In The Hear Of The Sea

“My favorite nautical themed book I read in high school was The Great Wide Sea. This is a story of three boys and their father who moved onto a sailboat. I really enjoyed reading about life on the sailboat. I found this book very interesting and exciting.  I highly recommend it.”   – 3/C Kolby Seibert (MTRA – Liverpool, PA)

Book: The Great Wide Sea Book

“Growing up, I read many history books and encyclopedias about Naval history, focusing on the time of World War II. As my years in high school lengthened, I did not read books all that much, as I was busy with school, sports, and friends. Most of my knowledge from this time came from movies, documentaries, and random articles I happened to look up on my own accord. Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James D. Hornfischer is fabulous.”  – 4/C Lucas Marcolini (MTRA– Marion, MA)

Book: Neptune's Inferno

The Perfect Storm: A True Story Of Men Against The Sea by Sebastian Junger exposed me to the potential dangers of a maritime career."
– 4/C Justin Zadroga (MENG – Nantucket, MA)

Book: Perfect Storm

“My favorite nautical book has to be Moby Dick by Herman Melville.”  - 4/C Jack Schrier (MTRA – Rockville, MD)

In high school I read Moby Dick by Herman Melville in an English class.  That got me really into the history of whaling in the early 1800s.  I read In The Heart Of The Sea: The Tragedy Of The Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick over the summer.  It is a famous tale of a whaling disaster at sea.  For someone who doesn't like to read, I really liked reading that the novel.  It was interesting and kept me hooked until the last page, which is hard for me.”

Book: Moby Dick

“I recommend The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima.  It romanticized the lifestyle of leaving for months at a time, then coming back to people who love you.  I didn’t read this in school, but in my own time during high school.” - 4/C Michael Caulfield (MENG – Walpole, MA)

Book: The Sailor Who Fell

“I read the book Stowaway by Karen Hesse in middle school. The book talked about long voyages and the life of a sailor.  The adventure was interesting to me.”  
– 4/C Abigail Stiltner (MTRA – Middleton, MA)

Book: Stowaway

“When I was young my grandmother often read books relating to shipwrecks and nautical events. This gave me an introduction to ships and a sort of interest with nautical related things. This at a young age paired with trips to the ocean yearly is what most likely gave me an interest in the sea.”
– 4/C Joshua Bajadek (MENG – Newfoundland, PA)

Keep your questions coming.  We welcome book reviews by middle school and high school students. 

Please send your book reviews or photos of your book-related projects to

Keep your questions coming!