- Age Range: 10 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 7
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (April 28, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0395746787
- ISBN-13: 978-0395746783
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 11.3 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #840,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Old Ironsides: Americans Build a Fighting Ship Hardcover – April 28, 1997
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6. Though listed as fiction, there is no conventional plot to this description of events in which a young boy in post-Revolutionary War Boston watches and assists in the building of America's first great war ship, Constitution. After three years, the work is completed, and John Aylwin earns a place as assistant to the master shipbuilder and later serves as sailing master. This story is the framework for the extensive details and elegant pen-and-ink drawings, that show the design of the almost 200-foot long frigate, the search for the perfect trees for the hull, the making of sails, and the casting of the 60 cannons that would make Constitution one of the finest war ships. The carefully researched account describes how the vessel was built and how its designer, Joshua Humphreys, made innovations to create a frigate stronger, better armed, and swifter than the ships of other navies. An epilogue explains the role of Constitution in the War of 1812. So strong was the ship, so impervious the hull to British cannon fire, that the label "Old Ironsides" would become its popular name. From the frigate under full sail on the cover, to the endpapers with the cutaway view of the hull, to the clean, precise drawings of every stage of shipbuilding, Weitzman's illustrations draw the eye and invite close inspection. Old Ironsides should find readers among young people interested in ships, in how things are made, or in American history.?Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3^-6. "Mr. Washington was angry" begins this recounting of the building of a ship to defend the young nation's merchant ships from pirates. The goal was to construct a ship strong enough to be useful in war as well, and as the nickname testified, "Old Ironsides" turned out to be just that. The story is told through the eyes of the fictional John Aylwin, son of a ship's carpenter, who follows the process with keen interest, chatting with people who can shed light on particular aspects of the ship's design. The fictionalization makes the text more readable and personal, but the picture-book format and fiction classification are going to make library circulation iffy--it is history buffs and children intrigued by ships who will want to pore over the many detailed drawings and diagrams. Still, this gives an intriguing glimpse of the hard labor involved in shipbuilding as well as the uses of frigates in battle. Susan Dove Lempke
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Top Customer Reviews
Beautiful drawings. Any fan of tall ships or the USS Constitution will get a thrill.
Also check into "Ship" by David Macaulay - about a Spanish galleon being built in the 15th century and excavated in modern times.