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Seven and a Half Tons of Steel Hardcover – August 1, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Nolan and Gonzalez have created a powerfully subtle work concerning the September 11, 2001, attacks and the U.S. Navy ship that contains refashioned tower wreckage in its structure. The book begins with 9/11 and the damage thereafter. One of the metal beams from Ground Zero was removed to a foundry in Louisiana, where it was reworked and shaped into the bow of the USS New York. The book also features another tragedy of the 2000s, as the USS New York's construction was affected by Hurricane Katrina. The text quietly guides readers through the narrative, with no more than a few sentences set on each page. Facts and figures related to the USS New York are presented after the main narrative. Gonzalez's full-page illustrations are brilliant, with every page plastered in heavy color. His bold palette, paired with folds and sharp edges, gives the work a fitting industrial ambience. The tones convey moods and action: deep reds, yellows, and oranges move across the metalworking furnace; black and gray clouds billow up from the towers across the page; and morning light streams bright against the hull of the ship. Images of destruction are shown respectfully yet dramatically. VERDICT This beautiful, sober, and hopeful recounting of a difficult chapter in American history is a stellar addition to history collections.—Jeffrey Meyer, Mt. Pleasant Public Library, IA
"Gonzalez's breathtaking spreads dazzle... The emphasis is not on damage and destruction, but on America's power to recover. Teachers and parents looking for picture books that celebrate the nation and its military will welcome Nolan and Gonzalez's work." --Publishers Weekly
"This beautiful, sober, and hopeful recounting of a difficult chapter in American history is a stellar addition to history collections." --School Library Journal
"A deeply felt but not overwrought telling of a story that will be new to most young readers." --Kirkus Reviews