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Tom becomes assistant to the ship’s inventor, a gruff, boastful man named Captain John Ericsson. He soon learns that the Union ...
Tom becomes assistant to the ship’s inventor, a gruff, boastful man named Captain John Ericsson. He soon learns that the Union army has very important plans for this iron ship called the Monitor. It is supposed to fight the Confederate "sea monster" -- another ironclad -- the Merrimac. But Ericsson is practically the only person who believes the Monitor will float. Everyone else calls it "Ericsson’s Folly" or "the iron coffin."
Meanwhile, Tom’s position as Ericsson’s assistant has made him a target of Confederate spies, who offer him money for information about the ship. Tom finds himself caught between two certain dangers: an encounter with murderous spies and a battle at sea in an iron coffin....
Early in 1862, 13-year-old Tom Carroll must go to work when his father is killed in a Maryland battle. He finds a job at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where he is put to work on "Ericsson's Folly," the ironclad that will become the Monitor . He works closely with Captain Ericsson and becomes fascinated with this odd "raft." The floating battery is scoffed at by many, but the "Copperheads," Northerners who sympathize with the Southern cause, are distinctly interested. Tom is approached by Confederate spies but cleverly escapes them with the help of his friends. To stay clear of these dangerous men, he moves onboard the Monitor and lives there until its completion. Tom is an eyewitness to history as the ship travels to join the Union blockade fleet and enters into its fateful battle with the Merrimac . He takes pride in the vessel, and his part in her construction is evident in his firsthand telling of the story. Factual information and historical terms are woven smoothly into the narrative. Period photographs, engravings, and newspaper headlines are strategically placed throughout the text to further bring history to life. A glossary provides added clarity, and an author's note explains that although Tom Carroll really existed, the boy in this story is a compilation of several people on the ship and the author's imagination. This exciting, fast-paced historical adventure will add a bit of drama to Civil War units. Even reluctant readers will appreciate it.
—Carolyn JanssenCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Posted January 15, 2009
Iron Thunder is the fictional story of thirteen year old Tom Carroll's adventures on the ironclad USS Monitor from its construction to famous battle with the CSS Merrimac during the Civil War. By January 1862 Tom is an angry young man, two weeks earlier Tom's family received news that his father who had enlisted in the Union army had died in battle in Maryland. Tom is angry at the war, the Union, and President Lincoln for causing the death of his father. His mother needing more money than Tom's paycheck as a newspaper seller finds Tom a job at the Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York. Tom is assigned to work for Captain Ericsson creator of the USS Monitor the navy's first ironclad vessel which will change his life and set of a series of adventures that conclude with the famous naval battle. This is a good Civil War fiction and is original in its plot and illustrations. The author includes a number of original and period illustrations to accompany the text.
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Posted October 29, 2008
This was an interesting and entertaining story about the secret construction of an iron clad ship and a boy who had to keep the secret. The boy deals with issues of secrecy, loyalty, and poverty. It was a book that was difficult to put down because it kept my attention and I never knew what would happen next. Would the ship be built in time for battle? Would it stay afloat? Would the rebel spies find out? What would happen to Tom? These are some of he questions that kept the story suspenseful. If you like historical fiction about the Civil War era, you will like this book. It was a great way to learn more about naval warfare of the Civil War. Again, it is a great read for those interested in the Civil War or naval history.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2008
I had to read this book for an eigth grade History assinment. At first i was very skeptical on this book but as soon as i started to read it i was hooked. The combining of real historical facts and enjoying fictional facts was amazing. Dont be afraid to read this book just because its about the past, it is quite exciting.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.