Attack of the Turtle

( 2 )

Overview

It's 1776, and the Revolutionary War is raging. Fourteen-year-old Nathan Wade is a patriot, but he's too young to join the fight. Then his cousin David Bushnell comes to town with a secret. David has designed a water machine that can explode bombs underwater. And his mission is to launch it against the British warships in New York harbor.

Nate reluctantly agrees to help David build the weapon of war — dubbed the American Turtle. Although he's terrified of water and worried about...

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Overview

It's 1776, and the Revolutionary War is raging. Fourteen-year-old Nathan Wade is a patriot, but he's too young to join the fight. Then his cousin David Bushnell comes to town with a secret. David has designed a water machine that can explode bombs underwater. And his mission is to launch it against the British warships in New York harbor.

Nate reluctantly agrees to help David build the weapon of war — dubbed the American Turtle. Although he's terrified of water and worried about getting caught, when unlikely circumstances put Nate at the center of the action, he must face the murky waters of his fears head-on.

Based on actual historical events, this adventure story captures the drama of the first submarine used in naval warfare and the struggles of a teenager overcoming self-doubt.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathryn Erskine
A good adventure story on its own, this novel closely follows actual events of the Turtle, the Revolutionary War submarine developed by David Bushnell to aid the American cause. As the author explains well in the historical notes in the back of the book, this spherical underwater craft was designed to attach bombs to the underside of British ships waiting to attack the colonies. This fictionalized account adds a fourteen-year-old boy as the main character. The story itself is interesting, as Nathan is scared of the water due to having nearly drowned as a child. In the end, he must overcome his fear and do the job of a man, earning the respect of his father, his arch enemy, and many others, including himself. Along the way, Nathan deals with Tories, his love for a neighbor girl, and even meets Benjamin Franklin. Nathan also gets dragged into the Continental Army and sees George Washington himself. The war is not glorified, however, and the real, gritty, arduous work of soldiers underfed, under-clothed, and dog tired is well relayed. An interesting read of a lesser known invention.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7
Nathan Wade, a fisherman's son, lives in Saybrook, CT, at the beginning of the American Revolution. When his father enlists in the Continental Army, the 14-year-old stays with relatives to help on their farm. His cousin, David, invents a submarine to be used against the British and asks Nathan to help him build it on a nearby secluded island. In spite of his intense fear of water, he agrees, and learns to overcome his phobia as he ferries back and forth while building the vessel. The submarine, named American Turtle , is towed to New York and employed in an attempt to sink Admiral Howe's flagship, anchored in the harbor. Nathan participates in the August 29, 1776, evacuation of 9000 American soldiers by helping to row men and equipment across the East River under cover of night and fog. The historical events surrounding the first submarine ever used in warfare, outlined in an author's note, are expertly woven throughout this fictional account. Johnson's pen-and-ink illustrations at the beginning of each chapter enrich Carlson's first novel.
—Rebecca SheridanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802853387
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 157
  • Sales rank: 368,679
  • Age range: 9 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Drew Carlson is a former magazine columnist, newspaper reporter, corporate writer, and editor who currently works as the director of public affairs for the Federation of State Medical Boards in Dallas, Texas. Drew says his fascination with obscure facts from American history led him to write Attack of the Turtle, which is his first published novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2007

    Attack of the Turtle: A Great Read and More!

    I am an adult who happens to love children's literature as well as history. Consequently, I read Attack of the Turtle, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Turtle is similar in feeling to the American Girls historical novels but likely to interest boys of the same age (although girls will enjoy it too). The book is well written, engaging, interesting, and fun. After I finished it, I found myself wanting to learn more, not only about the characters the author had created but also about the historical events on which the book is based. My 9-year-old niece read the book too and, afterward, also wanted to know more. An author whose books leave readers wanting MORE has created something magical, in my opinion. I hope Mr. Carlson has many more stories in mind!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2010

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