Written by Janet Nolan
Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez
After the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001, a steel beam was selected for recycling by the US Navy. The beam, weighing seven and a half tons, was transported by truck to a foundry in Louisiana. The steel became the bow of a new landing platform/dock (LPD), a type of war ship designed for a crew of 360 and transport of 700 to 800 troops. It was to become the USS New York. The shipbuilding itself was briefly interrupted by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The ship then sailed the steel back to its home port of New York.
The mixed media illustrations convey the solemnity of the story.
Reading with a teacher or parent is highly recommended, as the text relies heavily on the recognition of symbols, many of which kids may not be aware of. An adult can explain how much the symbols mean. Throughout the story, flags drape the steel and the ship. A twenty-one gun salute greets the ship in New York. Statistics about the ship, as well as a detailed description of her crest follow the story. Even the diner on board is symbolic of the towers.
- Title: Seven and a Half Tons of Steel
- Author: Janet Nolan
- Illustrator: Thomas Gonzalez
- Published: Peachtree Publishers, August 1, 2016
- Reviewer: Sue Poduska
- Format: Hardcover, 36 pages
- Grade Level: 2 to 5
- Genre: Nonfiction, History
- ISBN: 978-1-56145-912-4
- Extras: More about the USS New York, The crest of the USS New York