Big Bad Ironclad!
From the ship’s inventor, who had a history of blowing things up and only 100 days to complete his project, to the mischievous William Cushing, who pranked his way through the whole war, this book is filled with surprisingly true facts and funny, brave characters that modern readers will easily relate to.
Praise for Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Big Bad Ironclad
"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."
"Readers interested in American history will enjoy these graphic novels... Comic panels of varying sizes enhance the real-life events and support the stories’ over-the-top humor... the writing is accessible and entertaining; author Hale’s style gives readers an insider-y, you-are-there-type scoop."
New York Public Library’s Children's Books 2012: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing list
Baker & Taylor
Each of the books in the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series has elements of the strange but true and is presented in an engaging format, highlighting the larger-than-life characters that pop up in real history.
Revolutionary War spy, Nathan Hale, tells a hangman and British officer about the ironclad steam warships used in the Civil War.
a Civil War steamship showdown
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Big Bad Ironclad is actually even stronger than its predecessor. By this point Hale has expanded a bit and isn’t restricting himself to mere Revolutionary War stories. We’ve skipped forward to the Civil War, which makes for kooky stories galore. I’m sure I’d heard the story of the Merrimack and the Monitor but never in such glowing terms. Hale rightly seeks out and brings to light the story of William Barker Cushing, a prankster who used his pranking skills to help win the war for the Union, as well as a cussing Swede and other interesting folks involved in the Civil War’s naval battles. Also, by book #2 Hale is giving himself a little more literary leeway. A character with the last name of Fox is presented as a walking talking fuzzy animal, acknowledged as too crazy to be accurate, but giving the book a bit of that old kid-friendly zing.
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