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BIG BAD IRONCLAD! by Nathan Hale


From the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series

by Nathan Hale & illustrated by Nathan Hale

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0395-9
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Travel with Nathan Hale back to 1861 for the famous Civil War battle between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, the war’s first ironclad ships.

Unless readers have read Hale’s One Dead Spy (2012) first, they may well wonder why the famous spy Nathan Hale, hanged for espionage in 1776, is telling this future story of naval warfare during the Civil War. It turns out that Nathan Hale—the spy, not the author—was standing at the gallows when he was swallowed by a giant book of American history. He lives to tell about it and, presumably, other tales of America for future volumes of Hazardous Tales. This volume, completed prior to One Dead Spy, is a wild ride of a graphic novel, featuring not only Nathan Hale, but his hangman, a fox representing Gustavus Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and the various participants in the battle. Sketched, inked and colored in Photoshop, the two-color, frenetic volume succeeds in presenting the chaos of war. The backmatter is notable for its informative biographies of key players, a timeline, and a small but well-selected bibliography. 

Livelier than the typical history textbook but sillier than the many outstanding works on the Civil War available for young readers, this will appeal to both history buffs and graphic-novel enthusiasts. (Graphic historical fiction. 8-12)