Seven and a Half Tons of Steel by Janet Nolan, illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

Published by Peachtree Publishers 

Summary:  The USS New York is a Navy ship weighing 25,000 tons.  Seven and a half of those tons are made of steel from a most unusual source—the World Trade Center.  After the September 11 destruction of the Twin Towers, work crews removed a steel beam and had it transported from New York to Louisiana.  There it was melted down and molded into a ship’s bow.  The work of building the ship was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina, but eventually, the ship was completed and brought back to New York.  There it was greeted with a twenty-one gun salute before sailing off to do its work at sea.  An author’s note gives more facts about the USS New York and the meaning of the different colors and symbols of its crest. 36 pages; grades 2-5.

Pros:  History buffs, particularly fans of military history, will enjoy learning about the construction of this special ship.  The large, vivid paintings offer plenty of visual details to the story.

Cons:  There are only a few sentences about September 11 and Hurricane Katrina, so kids may need more information on both of these events to truly appreciate this book.

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