Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Seven and a Half Tons of Steel

Seven and a Half Tons of Steel

Janet Nolan
Illustrator:  Thomas Gonzalez 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Peachtree Publishers, 2016   ISBN: 978-1561459124

On September 11th, 2001 two planes flew into The World Trade Center in New York City and as a result the Twin Towers came crashing down, killing almost three thousand people. For months after the attacks, workers cleared away the rubble from what would come to be called Ground Zero.

A great deal of debris was taken away from the site, and one of the things that they took away was a metal beam, which was transported from New York City to a foundry in Louisiana. There, workers heated the beam until it became molten and then they poured the liquid metal into a mold. When the metal had cooled it was no longer just a beam, it was the bow of a navy ship and when it was ready it was transported to a shipyard in New Orleans where it was installed on the front of a new ship, the USS New York. The moment when the bow was lifted up and welded into place was a powerful one for everyone who had worked on the ship. More powerful moments lay ahead in the ship’s future when it would sail from New Orleans and back home, to the city of New York.

This powerful true story shows young readers how the people of the United States took something from a place of terrible loss, and used it to build something strong and new that will serve as a tribute to all those who died on September 11th. Readers will appreciate what a labor of love it was for all the men and women who were able to work on the beam from the World Trade Center.