Iron Thunder: The Battle Between the Monitor and the Merrimacby Avi, C. B. Mordan (Illustrator)
When his father is killed fighting for the Union in the War Between the States, thirteen-year-old Tom Carroll must take a job to help support his family. He manages to find work at a bustling ironworks in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York, where dozens of men are frantically pounding together the strangest ship Tom has ever seen. A ship made of iron.
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.
Meet the Author
Avi's books are loved by kids and adults everywhere. He has written more than 50 books, several of which have garnered prestigious awards, including the Newbery Medal and two Newbery Honors. His titles with Hyperion include Crispin: The Cross of Lead, Crispin at the Edge of the World, and The Book Without Words. He lives with his family in Colorado.
- Date of Birth:
- December 23, 1937
- Place of Birth:
- New York, New York
- University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964
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