Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Iron Thunder: The Battle Between the Monitor & the Merrimac” as Want to Read:
Iron Thunder: The Battle Between the Monitor & the Merrimac
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Iron Thunder: The Battle Between the Monitor & the Merrimac

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,277 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
When his father is killed fighting for the Union in the War Between the States, thirteen-year-old Tom Carroll must take a job to help support his family. He manages to find work at a bustling ironworks in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York, where dozens of men are frantically pounding together the strangest ship Tom has ever seen. A ship made of iron.

Tom becomes assistant
Hardcover, 203 pages
Published September 18th 2007 by Disney-Hyperion
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Nick Nourse
Author: Avi Iron Thunder
By Nick Nourse

This book takes place in the mid – late 1800’s during the Civil War. On a naval ship called the Monitor. This book is based on eye witness accounts and there really was a Tom Carroll on the monitor.

The two main characters in this book are Tom Carroll & Captain Ericsson.
Tom is young boy (13) whose father recently died for his country during the civil war. Tom is now forced to support his family (mom & sister) by getting a job in the navy. He start
Ryan Pomerenke
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“Iron Thunder” is about a thirteen year old boy named Thomas Carroll who unexpectedly joined the navy during the Civil War to fight on the Union ironclad, the Monitor. Tom’s father died only ten months into the war. Because of this, Tom needed to find a job to support his mother and sister. He lands a job working to construct the USS Monitor, and soon befriends the ship’s designer, John Ericsson. Tom eventually joins the crew and sets off for Hampton Roads, Virginia, where the Monitor was suppos ...more
Nolan Kiley
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Preview: I wanted to read this book because I felt like learning about the civil war would be interesting. I like books that involve action, and obviously a book about a war will involve action. Also the cover of the book is a kid, like me, so I knew I could most likely relate in many ways.

Predict: I predicted in this book that the end was going to be a standoff,I also predicted that they would come up short in the first battle. One other thing I predicted that Tom was going to have a tough tim
Nancy (Colorado)
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A third grade teacher read. Based on the Monitor and the Merrimac. More appropriate for 5th graders than 3rd but very well written. Told through the eyes of Tom a 13 year old boy who worked on the Monitor.
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
this book is really good it is about an iron clad in the civil war named the monotar and it is in a real civil war battle.
Mia Durham
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked how this book proved even if your little you can always solve a problem.
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
pretty cool. I like these genres of books :)
Kris Dickens
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Listened to the audiobook with my 4 kids on vacation. It managed to keep the interest of my husband down to my 9 year old son. We call that a win in our house.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile
Avi is just like Ann Rinaldi… so much potential, and then- meh.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it
For my first book of the year, from the historical fiction genre, I read Iron Thunder by AVI I-Witness. Iron Thunder takes place during the civil war from the view of a thirteen year old Brooklyn boy named Tom Carroll.
Tom’s father has just passed away and his family is going through are hard time and is tight on money. So Tom strays away from the local paper route and finds a job in the nearby shipyards. The job that Tom ends up finding is more than interesting. Tom ends up working on an Ironcla
Miss Sarah
Mar 15, 2017 added it
Shelves: 2017-audio
Told from the perspective a young boy, this book charts the course of the building of the iron ship the Monitor during the civil war. A great historical piece about a turning point for the US Navy and our country.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm an Avi fan from way back and this didn't disappoint. Avi is very adept at making history come alive. I appreciated the many drawings as well as the technical aspect of this story. I learned a lot.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Steven by: no one
The father of a teenager named Tom Carrel was killed during the the war of the Union between the states. He needs a job because his sister is really ill and his mother has a job that pays poorly. Tom found work at his hometown in Brooklyn, New York working for a genius that works for the Navy his name was Captain John Erricson. Tom soon realises that he is working on a ship that he had never known could float and that is said to be the Unions only hope to win the war. A ship made of Iron.

Tom w
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Iron Thunder takes place during the Civil War in Brooklyn, New York. Continental Iron Works is the building shed where the Monitor, the great ironclad ship, is being built to save the Union. The setting eventually moves to Hampton Roads where the Monitor and Merrimac face off. These settings and the events that take place in this story are actual events that happened during the Civil War.
Tom Carroll is the thirteen-year-old, newspaper boy who is forced to take a job as assistant to the invento
Danny N
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I chose to read Iron Thunder, by Avi. This book takes place during the Civil war in Brooklyn, New York and the main character is a supporter of the North. The book starts as a small family is struggling to survive. The young boy, Tom, is the only male in the house because his father went off to the war, is forced to find work to support them. He ends up getting a job with a crazy shipbuilder, Captain John Ericsson, as his assistant. John is working on something that, at the time, would never wor ...more
Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Book Talk: Tom's father is dead and he doesn't even know exactly how or where. All he knows is that his father died fighting for the union and now he has to find a job to support his family. A small, thirteen-year-old like Tom can't afford to be picky, so when he's offered a job building a new ironcald ship under Captain Ericsson he takes it, even though everyone calls the ship Ericsson's Folly. No one can see how a ship made of metal will ever be able to float. But the longer he works there, th ...more
Alex Church
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book seemed appealing compared to Civil War Stories since they were both centralized around the civil war. It was factual, but the plot play out was a little slow. In the book, a boy named Tom must work in an iron factory to support his family after his dad is killed in the war. He gets tied up in creating the iron clad "Monitor" for the union army. While working, he was targeted for information for confederate spies because he was the assistant to the ship's creator, Captain Ericsson. So T ...more
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it

Tom Carroll is thirteen year old boy that just lost his father fighting for the Union. Now he is living with his mother and his sister, Dora. His mother and Dora both work, cleaning laundry. Dora is always getting sick, though, so because his father is now gone Tom has to get a job. His mother got him a job through the man she worked for. Tom worked at the iron works as a messenger boy for Captain Ericsson, where the Union was building The Monitor . The Monitor is a ship made of iron with a

Allison DeMeo
Personal Reaction: This book was not what I expected it to be. I really liked how this book talked about the time period. I learned a lot in the first 4 pages about that moment in history. It has a lot of information about spies, which I didn't even know were a real thing. The book was fast paced, and easy to read. The only bad thing about this book for me was not being able to relate. I have never had anyone in my family pass away and I also have never had to deal with anyone being in the war. ...more
At first I was put off by the narrator's voice...Tom Carroll's diction is much more advanced than his schooling in Brooklyn NY, in the middle of the Civil War. But he grew on me as I watched him struggle, and I ended up liking this book a lot.

1862 -- Tom and his mother and sister are trying to make ends meet after the death of Mr. Carroll on the battlefield. Tom's paper route after school can't contribute enough so he must quit school and go to work in the Navy Yards. He expects to work in the c
Anna Korroch
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have never been particularly drawn to historical fiction books, but i must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I loved that it was a story about a young boy will very big responsibilities. I appreciated how willing he was to do anything he could to help his family during a very stressful time. I also think that the civil war is a very fascinating time in our countries history. It was cool to hear this story told from a first person point of view. It made the civil war seem more real and ...more
Jake R
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the book Iron Thunder, by Avi the theme is that no matter how old or young make the most out of your life. It is in Brooklyn during the civil war. The union is in the midst of building the great ship, the Monitor. Tom Carrol is a young boy. Only 13. His dad has just died and is family is left with nothing. Tom has to skip school just to keep his family afloat. He is looking for a job when he sent down to work on the Monitor. Instead of actually constructing the boat he works as the left hand ...more
Kaley Robinson
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was about a boy, Tom, who starts to work on the Monitor, a metal ships thats going to be fought in the Civil War. Tom's father had recently died in the war, so he was skeptical about working on a ship that would be involved with the war. Tom would encounter spies and would learn how to care for his family now that his father was gone. Tom would become an assistant to the captain and began to love the sea. This book wasn't difficult to read but was often dull at times. It was very infor ...more
Sarah Rourke
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. This book shows the hardships of war, and how some kids had to grow up a lot faster than others. I enjoyed the suspense and the engaging plot of this book. There was always something going on that made me want to keep turning the pages. I believe this will be a great historical book for children to read.

This book would be best read for independent reading for grades 4 through 6th. This book shows how the War Between the States, effected many families. Tom's f
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Iron Thunder
By: Avi (author)

The book is about a kid named Tom Carroll and he is 13 years old. His Mom and older sister are having trouble with money after the dad gets killed fighting for the Union. Then Tom has to work to get money for his family. He has to work in making an Iron battleship ,called the Monitor to fight the Rebels, which are the bad guys. But the Rebs start spying on Tom and they threaten him so they can find the secret about the Iron boat they are making, to know their att
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Iron Thunder takes a look at a very interesting piece of American history. During the Civil War both the Union and the Confederacy built the very first iron plated ships; they were called 'ironclads.' This book is a fictional account of that piece of American history.

There is much to like about this text. First, Avi took time to research the real history and cites numerous sources. I especially like his notes that he added to the beginning and the end of the book. It seemed that being as accura
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Thirteen-year-old Tom Carroll finds himself the 'man of the house' and must make money to support his family when his father, a Union soldier, is slain while fighting the Confederate States of America. The young boy manages to find a job at the Navy Yard, about a mile from his home in Brooklyn, New York, where several men hastily pound together a strange ship. It is an ironclad battleship known as the Monitor, and the only other of its kind is the Merrimac. The Merrimac is a Confederate ship tha ...more
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Avi is a phenomenal writer who wrote Iron Thunder to engage readers and make them feel like they are in the center of all the action. Iron Thunder is a true story about the battle between the Union's Monitor and the Confederate's Merrimac (which are both ironclad ships) during the Civil War. Tom Caroll, a thirteen-year-old boy, must find a job in order to support his family after his father dies fighting. Eventually, he becomes an assistant of the Monitor's inventor, Captain John Ericsson, and a ...more
Zach Costello
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Iron Thunder" is a book about a boy named Tom Carroll. He is a young boy that is help building the first iron clad ship during the civil war. The year is 1862 in Boston. Tom is trying to make money for his family after his dad was killed in the war. I really enjoyed this book because it tells the story of how the first iron ships were made, and about how life was during the civil war.

This book was written to show what life was like during the civil war, and about the first ironclad ships. Many
Zahava Davis
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction: This is seriously well-done historical fiction novel. The book describes the construction of the Monitor, an iron-clad ship that was built to fight the South during the Civil War. The best part about this book is the use of historical artifacts to illustrate like beautiful pictures, letters, and illustrations from the time the book was set.
Read Aloud- This would be an interesting pick for reading to older elementary when learning about the Civil War, though I'm sure
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Brooklyn Nine
  • Billy Creekmore
  • How I Found the Strong
  • The Unknowns
  • Under a War-Torn Sky
  • Storm Warriors
  • Cool Zone with the Pain and the Great One
  • Ghosts in the Fog: The Untold Story of Alaska's WWII Invasion
  • The Potato Chip Puzzles (The Puzzling World of Winston Breen #2)
  • Mudville
  • Return to Sender
  • Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule
  • Bull Run
  • Red Moon at Sharpsburg
  • Fish
  • The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
  • Counting on Grace
  • Crow
Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use." Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and the Crispin series. His work is popular among readers young and old.
More about Avi...