Iron Thunder

Written by AVI


AVI has written more than sixty books, several of which have garnered prestigious awards, including the Newbery Award and two Newbery Honors. His titles with Hyperion include The Cross of Lead, At the Edge of the World, and The Book Without Words. He lives with his family in Colorado. As he was writing the book, published in 2007, he was saying that he liked to read books with a lot of action and adventure. Luckily that was the kind of books he liked to write as well. The book, Iron Thunder, is about a young boy named Tom Carroll who helps build a ship that he has never seen before. It was made of iron. It was being built to face an Ironclad from the Rebel side of the war named the Merrimac.


- "Tom, we just need more money. You're going to have to take your pa's place."

Explanation: This if the very first sentence of the story. It pretty much explains Tom's family and his situation. His family is very poor and Tom's father has died because of the war. Tom is going to have to get a job to help support his family. This is how he ends up at the shipyard a little later in the story. The second part of the quote explains how Tom might have to grow up a little early. He will more than likely be "the man of the house."

- "Ericsson bragged to me that it she was like no ship ever built."

Explanation: This quote is very important to the story. It makes the reader wonder what Ericsson is building. Throughout the story Ericsson receives a lot of criticism for building a ship that is completely made of iron. This makes a lot of people doubt him. At first Tom doesn't think it will float either but later he tries to understand what Ericsson is thinking. He learns about water displacement and how a ship does float. Later on Tom does understand that the ship will float.

- "In fact, I almost wished the Monitor would sink."

Explanation: On the day of the launch Tom was so nervous. He was afraid of seeing Mr. Quinn. He was also afraid that the Monitor would sink even though he was confident. Mr. Quinn was a Rebel spy who was paying Tom for information on the Monitor. Even though he refused to tell Mr. Quinn he was afraid he would kill Tom.

Main Conflict

The main conflict of the story is where Tom is deciding whether he would want to fight the war on the Monitor. As his thinks this thought through there is much more going on in his mind. He has to worry about his family and how he will support them and he also has to worry about Mr. Quinn, the Rebel spy, who is following Tom around throughout the story. The resolution of the story is where Tom does choose too fight on the Monitor. He was still indecisive when he made his choice but Captain Ericsson asked him to be there when they do fight. He didn't want to turn it down so he chose to sail with him.

Extra Details

Some extra details to know about this story is that it is a true story. The author, AVI, stated that there was a boy on the Monitor named Tom Carroll who did sail with a Mr. Captain Ericsson. Another important detail to know is that when Mr. Quinn is asking questions about the Monitor, Tom has to walk home every night alone. This shows that Mr. Quinn will do anything to get closer to Tom. He even bought Tom a steak for dinner and started paying him ford information. Another detail to know is that the battle didn't end with either ship sinking. The Merrimac thought that the Monitor surrendered because is pulled back to reload. The Monitor thought the Merrimac retreated because is started pulling back into the bay. As a result both ships didn't suffer from damage only huge dents. Captain Ericsson was injured because of loud cannon fire and it hit his viewing scope so he was blinded.

Historical References

The book takes place during the Civil War in America. This was the time where the north and the south were fighting against each other. When they were at war people from both sides were doing everything they could to get information. In the book Mr. Quinn is a good example of this. He was paying and feeding Tom most nights to just get information about a ship. This ship was very important because it could and did change the world. Also in the book this was a time of technology advancing. Ships were just beginning to be completely made of iron. They were even becoming steam powered.

Book Review

If i had to review the book I would say that the book is a very good book to read. It has a lot of action and adventure and it shows the reader how times were during the Civil War. It brings the reader into a state of mind that is emotional. It shows how much a young boy such as Tom Carroll, is willing to do anything to help support his family as well as his country. It also shows that no matter how small of a voice you have you can always make a difference in the world such as Tom did.
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Why you should read the book

You should read this book if you like a book with a lot of action. If you like a book that is inspirational Iron Thunder is the book for you. It expresses the fact that someone like Tom Carroll, who is only a 15 year old in the Civil War, can make a difference in something that is so big and monumental. He changed the world. This is why you should read this book.