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Big Bad Ironclad!

(Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #2)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  2,898 ratings  ·  313 reviews
An alternate cover edition can be found here.

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 invento
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  2,898 ratings  ·  313 reviews

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Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Nathan Hale (the patriot) is still standing at the gallows awaiting his execution, and is asked by his executioners to recall another story. This one is about the iconic battle of the Confederacy's Merrimack (Virginia) and the Union's Monitor. Hale has done his research about the military men and epic battle. A colorful graphic novel, which may be an effective way of teaching history to those that would otherwise not be interested.

P.S. Sorry to see the return of the simpleton, hangman.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
- 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
Oct 24, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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
My middle school book club *loved* 'Donner Dinner Party' so I broke our 'no series' rule and picked another one, since they don't really have to be read in order and they don't really continue a specific order. I'm not a huge reader of history but these graphic novels could make anyone a fan. I look forward to sharing these with Xavier.

I love that these are quick and easy to read, while being packed full of interesting facts you might not already know. The humor is great as well. This volume fo
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it

This series is the best. It makes history so accessible to all ages. I really enjoyed this one a lot. I was not familiar with the story of Will Cushing before reading this and I am so glad that I am now aware of that incredible tale.
Clare Lund
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved this humorous and (mostly) factual account of history. It kept my attention and I learned a lot, and the graphic novel format makes it accessible for all readers. Great series for ages 8 and up.
Brady Meier
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's the Civil War and the South has broken off of the United States. And a kid in the Union Navy is playing jokes on drill sergeants. They are pretty good pranks though. Ok, back to the topic. Virginia has just became a Southern state which means that so does the famous war ship the Merrimack. The South turns the Merrimack into a Ironclad. So that means that the North has to create a Ironclad too. So the war on the seas turns into a war of ironclads.

I mostly like this book because of the dra
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
"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
Joseph R.
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
American patriot and colonial spy Nathan Hale continues regaling his executioners with tales from future history (because he got sucked into a book or something in the first volume--just go with it). Here he gives the story of the first armored naval vessels in the 1860s. The two most famous ones (because they were the first ones) are the Monitor and the Merrimack (renamed the Virginia), built by the United States and the Confederacy respectively. He describes not only their battles and ultimate ...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
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is just fun! The color scheme through the book matches the cover. There’s a lot of one liners that made me laugh out loud. And the illustrations are great. Perfect historical graphic novel
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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!
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Margaret Carpenter
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Did I mention that this series is by someone ALSO named Nathan Hale who was born exactly 200 years after the spy died because that would be a true statement.

I actually learned things in this book ?? about boats in the civil war ?? okay
Ryan Sood
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-3-days
I thought that this book was very good because it told a lot about history that I hadn't known before. This was a historical fiction boom that was funny yet it still told about the naval part of the civil war. I thought that this book was very good and I would recommend it. ...more
Cade Salem
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Funny book. Good parts in the book
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
it was a great book. i thought it was a good way to tell the civil war. :)
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It was fun and good book
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not my favorite of Hale's books, but still a fantastic addition. Also, it's worth reading for the exploits of William Cushing alone - hilarious! ...more
Nick Podzimek12
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a vary good book . it had so much action in the book .
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I learned a lot about the Civil War naval battles, a subject I honestly didn't even know existed! ...more
Miss Lee
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
This is probably my least favorite out of the series.
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
History was always one of my least favorite subjects in school. It never felt like I was taught anything interesting. It was just a large collection of important people, places, and dates. Anytime, there was something that remotely piqued my interest, it was glossed over or ignored. I believe a lot of people my age felt this way, and that if you asked someone what they most remembered from history they could tell you one of two things - "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue," or some variation ...more
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Another totally entertaining and memorably informative bit of American history from Nathan Hale. I love how he anchors the story on a few notable characters; Will Cushing is at the heart of this book and a thrilling delight as a pranksterish sort of proto-Navy Seal who was earlier kicked out of the Naval Academy for schoolboy mischief. The story of the earliest ironclads themselves and the other personalities notably involved with them is great too and tells the story of the Monitor and
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Who knew history could be so entertaining? This was great fun to read, and I genuinely learned things about the Civil War. How had I not known of William Cushing before? Nathan Hale definitely brings stories to life (with only a slightly goofy take) and keeps you reading (I read this in one sitting). This book covers the start of the Civil War, the transformation by the South of the USS Merrimack into the iron-clad CSS Virginia, the North's response with the iron-clad USS Monitor, and the ensuin ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
My least favorite of this series that I've read so far, mainly due to some really random and unnecessary personifications of historical figures. Still, the core story of the innovation, risks, and successes of using armored ships in Civil War naval combat was a bit more interesting than I expected. ...more
Jonah Garner
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting, but could do better!
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
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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

Other books in the series

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales (10 books)
  • One Dead Spy
  • Donner Dinner Party
  • Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood
  • The Underground Abductor
  • Alamo All-Stars
  • Raid of No Return
  • Lafayette!
  • Major Impossible
  • Blades of Freedom: a Louisiana Purchase Tale (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales #10)

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