Ten year-old David is somehow keeping his mind on his cotton mill job and at the same time learning Latin from a book propped up on the spinning Jenny machine. The year is 1823. David’s family is very poor, so David has to work to help out. His parents taught him to read. He has never been to school, but that doesn’t keep him from learning all that he can, especially about nature and science. He loves to explore the countryside around his village of Blantyre, Scotland, on Sunday afternoons; his only time off.