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Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Big Bad Ironclad!
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Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Big Bad Ironclad! (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #2)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  558 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Each of the books in Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales has elements of the strange but true and is presented in an engaging, funny format, highlighting the larger-than-life characters that pop up in real history. Big Bad Ironclad! covers the history of the amazing ironclad steam warships used in the Civil War.
From the ship’s inventor, who had a history of blowing things up and
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
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Community Reviews

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If you should find that you share your name with a Revolutionary War Hero you have various ways of making use of that fact. You could join Revolutionary War re-enactors on a regular basis and field unceasing questions about whether or not that is your real name. You could start writing historical fan fiction or fun alternative histories. Or you could follow in the footsteps of one Nathan Hale and write the number one funniest and best-written history-based graphic novel series on bookshelves tod ...more
- This was another hilarious and educational tale! I loved it!

- I really like that Nathan Hale (the spy) is still telling stories to the hangman and the redcoat. It's like Scheherezade telling stories to the king to stay alive.

- I didn't know there were naval battles in the Civil War! That is really cool.

- William Cushing was the best part of this book. He was hilarious and awesome! I love that he was a forerunner for the Navy Seals. I want to go research this guy some more.

- The Lego instructio
Barb Middleton
Book two continues the story of Nathan Hale who is still trying to avoid the noose by telling stories from the future in this hilarious graphic novel that involves the invention of ironclad warships in the Civil War. The childish hangman is back along with the cynical British Provost. Backdrop from the first book has four characters discussing how Nathan Hale was to be hanged as a spy when a humungous history book swallowed him whole then burped him up giving him the mysterious ability to see i ...more
I am not a fan of graphic novel. So the fact that I even made it through this book speaks to it's merits. My kids brought this book home from the bookmobile (yes we still have a bookmobile, and we love it!) I picked it up off the couch and ended up stealing it from my kids.
This GN is about the Monitor and the Merrimack, the first two ironclad warships during the Civil War. I found it interesting and informative. There were the same drawback I find with most GN's: the illustrations were at times
"Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Big Bad Ironclad!" is a American history graphic novel about the Civil War. The story coincides with the other Nathan Hale books, as it is told by Nathan Hale. This time, Nathan Hale tells the Hangman and the British officer a tale from the "future" in the 1800s. Nathan Hale describes how the North and South are a war with each other. He also tells them how the sides are trying to develop new naval technology. After the South captures the Northern ship "The Merrim ...more
NO NO NO NO NO. 0 stars. I can't even get passed the fly leaf. What I hoped to be a decent GN that blurs the lines of fiction/nonfiction with enough nonfiction some libraries put it in nonfiction collections had a rather large error on the fly leaf in a map differentiating between Union, Confederate, and boarder states and territories. It marks Kansas as a Confederate state. Granted it has been a while since my college Civil War class I double, triple and quadrupled checked to make sure I wasn't ...more
I thought it was nice. It has some true things in it. I am going to tell you about one of the fictional parts. There was a talking fox who was in the Army and drove a boat! It takes place during the Civil War.
Nicola Mansfield
I read the first book in this series when it came out and highly enjoyed it, but three years have gone by before I got around to reading this next one! I loved this also but didn't find it near so funny. That may have been, though, that this was an entirely new subject for me. I have read many, many books about or take place during the Civil War but have never come across the navy aspect of it. Of course, I've heard of the Monitor and the Merrimac but this is my first introduction to them. This ...more
Another foray into history told from the hanging platform by Nathan Hale (in book one, after saying his famous last words, he's swallowed by a giant history book and has been able to tell tales from his future, our past, since). In this story, he tells tales of the civil war, mostly following the naval battles, though the other battles going on are mentioned in passing. Mostly we find out all about the Ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimac.

In all honesty, Cushing (a historical figure) steals

Becky B
Nathan Hale (the historical figure, not the author), is standing at the gallows about to be hung when the executioners ask if he has a story to tell. Lucky for them, Hale has mystical powers to see into the future and tell them those tales (ok, so that part isn't historical, but it provides a fun platform for the story and for the author to give a nod to his namesake). In this tale, Nathan tells his audience about the American Civil War. That's a pretty broad story, so he just focuses on the nav ...more
Mrs W
Apr 06, 2014 Mrs W rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Convicted spy Nathan Hale continues to distract his executioners from carrying out their duty of hanging him, this time with a tale from the Civil War. This carries on from the first book in the series, in which Hale is given knowledge of the entirety of American history in a magically goofy way. Therefore, even though he exists in the Revolutionary War, he can tell of events far in the future.

This book starts with the Union plan to weaken the Confederate states with a blockade of their supplies
Even more delightful than the first one! The history book that swallowed Nathan Hale (the Revolutionary war hero, not the author) shows him the first naval battles of the Civil War, and he regales his hangman with a story about ironclad ships and what is essentially the first submarine! So much fun, and still informative!
Emma Hoyer
I read this hazardous tale before I read Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood, and I have to say, I definitely enjoyed this story! There are plenty of funny moments, and this book seems more relatable to children and students I will have in my class one day. There is much information to be had, but it’s not jam-packed to capacity. I had a great laugh every few pages or so, and the characters are definitely interesting to observe and read about. I don’t know how I feel about the Confederate Navy Se ...more
Charlotte Grosvenor

I think this book was an outstanding addition to the series if Nathan Hales Hazardous Tales !
This book was a great war tale about the Civil war . He came to my school and designed a book only for if he comes to your school or library . (he drew it out for us )
( spoiler alert ) Cushing was so silly when he drew his pictures .
I would have enjoyed more animals though .
I think the hangman was funny when he asked Nathan Hale ( the spy ) if he could draw the fox . When He came to my school, he sig
Tanya W
We absolutely love these amazing history books written in "graphic novel" form. We love them so much that we have read all four books in about 3 weeks and can't wait for his new release about Harriet Tubman in April 2015.

This one is about the role of Ironclad ships in the Civil War, and about Civil War heroes... William Cushing and others.

I will say that my 5,7, and 10 year old children LOVED each of his books... but some parents might feel that the subject matter is too tough for younger kids (
Dec 16, 2014 Andrea rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: grade 2-6
My 8yo voluntarily read a history book. Maybe if there had been more history books like this when I was a kid, I wouldn't have got the idea that I hated history. It helps that this book is so dang funny. And without being preachy or didactic or seeming like it had a "message", it had a good theme of "While being a prankster may get you into trouble, if you can channel your cleverness properly you can be an awesome hero".

I learned a lot about naval battles in the Civil War while reading this, too
In this edition of the Hazardous Tales Nathan Hale (the patriot/spy) is telling the British officer and the hangman about two ironclad ships that fought in the Civil War. One ship was used for the Confederate navy and the other was part of the Union navy. The South salvaged a burned ship and covered it with iron. The North hired a Swedish inventor to build a small iron ship quickly. Both ships had problems. Both ships made a difference for their respective navies. And of course there are all kin ...more
When I started this book, (on the Black Eyed Susan graphics list this year), it was pretty goofy and I wondered whether this format would work for a retelling of a serious event. By the end, when I'm laughing and laughing about the author's notes and his Correction Baby that answers mail, I realized it worked fine and not only had I been entertained throughout but I had learned a lot about the Monitor and the Merrimack. AND I think kids reading this book, will be tempted to learn more about that ...more
Quinn Rollins
Nathan Hale has been a favorite local (Utah) author and artist for several years now. I first met him at a booksigning in suburban Salt Lake City, and casually followed what he was working on since then. Up until last year the highlight of his career has been the two graphic novels written by Shannon Hale (no relation): Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack. Both are very entertaining takes on fairy tales, both come highly recommended by me.

Now Hale has his own series, taking stories from Americ
Nathan Hale (the author, not the spy) does a great job of making history fun for kids. This is a great book to give to young readers who have any interest in the Civil War, American History, or battles in general. Heck, even if you're worried they are *losing* interest in the above, give it to them so they can find out about this historical adventure.

The premise of the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series is that Nathan Hale (the revolutionary war spy, not the author) was hit by a magical histor
Another awesome installment in Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series. This one deals mainly with the building of and the battle between the ironclad warships, the USS Monitor vs the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack). Told, as always, with a little artistic license and a great deal of humor, this book is a great way for kids to learn about this area of Civil War history and for adults to brush up on what they might have forgotten from school.
2.3 stars

Just as in the first book of this series, the tale is told my the American Revolution hero/spy, Nathan Hale (who has the same name as the author). He tells the story to his own hangman.

As in the first book, the tale is told with numerous asides by the hangman. As with the first book, the conceit of the tale being told to the hangman didn't "work" for me. And....Nathan Hale is telling a story from the future-----from the Civil War!
This is a blend of graphic nonfiction with historical fiction, and like the previous volume by this creator, the weakness comes from the occasional blurring of these two. The framing story is that the whole thing is being told as a flash-forward by the American Revolution's Nathan Hale, as he is about to be hanged. That device wears a bit thin, but the book gives a good overview of the events of early 1862, as both Union and Confederate navies attempt to build ironclad warships. Here's where the ...more
I absolutely loved this book. There's something very fresh and fun about reading a story in a graphic novel format. And then it's just this amazingly true story about the Civil War that I didn't know much about before. Seriously this would be a great read for kids! Can't wait to read the rest of the series, which had stories from several different wars. Definitely would recommend to others.
Jenn O'Brien
Nov 28, 2014 Jenn O'Brien rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jenn by: Nephew
Just as good as book one! This could be a stand alone graphic novel, but I would recommend reading in order, it will make a lot more sense to the readers to understand the narrator and his background. These books are written for tweens, but I love that I learned new history facts as well. Great illustrations that are easy to follow and the humor woven in the history lesson is terrific!
Written as a graphic novel, the author starts the book off with Nathan Hale about to be hung and a British officer and the Hangman are expresing their doubts that Nathan can foretell the future. Nathan tells about the Big Bad Ironclads that were first used in the Civil War. This non-fiction graphic has humor and facts mixed throughout the book, even the Bibliography.
Pair with Avi's Iron Thunder or, while not the same ships, Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H.L. Hunley.

This Will Cushing fellow ... was he really such a prankster or is that part of the fiction in this historical fiction graphic novel? Inquiring minds want to know. (I almost called him Peter. #starwarsfan)

I quite like the illustrated timeline at the end ... will have to steal the idea!

And really a three point five. Four or higher for me ... but I still have my ques
This was nominated for our state student choice award in the Graphic Novel category. I enjoyed the illustrations, the banter between the narrators, and of course learning about history. While the content is very in depth, the format makes it approachable to reluctant readers. I also appreciated having a historical fact breakdown in the end of the book.
Sarah Santoro
I really love these books, and think they're a great way to get kids to read non fiction. They tend to highlight one specific part of history that may get a quick mention in a typical history class, and that makes me realize how superficial most people's knowledge of history tends to be (by necessity, mainly, because who could remember it all?)
I thought this would be fun to read, but it was sooo much more fun than I expected! Funny storytelling, fun pictures, and a really interesting story! I learned so much that I never knew about the Civil War, but mostly, I enjoyed reading this fun adventure! The author also did a great job explaining hard vocabulary and confusing events by making the characters discuss the possible confusion-- cute! I can't wait to read the other books in this series!
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Nathan Hale is the New York Times best-selling author/illustrator of the Hazardous Tales series, as well as many picture books including Yellowbelly and Plum go to School, the Twelve Bots of Christmas and The Devil You Know.

He is the illustrator of the Eisner-nominated graphic novel Rapunzel's Revenge and its sequel, Calamity Jack. He also illustrated Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody, The Dinosaur
More about Nathan Hale...

Other Books in the Series

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales (6 books)
  • Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy
  • Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Donner Dinner Party
  • Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, #4)
  • Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor (An Abolitionist Tale about Harriet Tubman)
  • Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Alamo All-Stars
Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Donner Dinner Party Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, #4) Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor (An Abolitionist Tale about Harriet Tubman) The Twelve Bots of Christmas

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