The Ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound
By Sandy Nelson
Before reading the book;
1. What do you think the book will be about?
2. Do you believe that it is important to remember the soldiers, airmen and sailors who
fought in past wars overseas? Why / Why not.
3. This story is based on an actual naval battle that took place in the Solomon Islands.
Locate the Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal, Savo Island and Iron Bottom Sound.
As the book is read;
4. Discuss how Paddy’s ghosts help with the telling of the story. Would it have been as
interesting if Paddy had just told us what he read in ‘The Book’ and in his granddad’s
5. The map shows the countries and islands occupied by Japan before the battle off
Savo Island. Compare the names of countries with those of today. Which countries
have different names?
6. Using the timeline correlate the happenings with the locations on the map of the
7. What is the main reason for the large fleet of ships being in the area?
8. Discuss the reasons Granddad gives for why the marines’ mission could have easily
gone horribly wrong.
9. The battle off Savo Island is considered a major naval disaster. Identify reasons why
the battle was such a disaster.
10. What steps should have been taken to be better prepared?
11. Many people who returned from war did not want to talk about it. Suggest reasons
why they would not like to share their stories.
12. Why did the ghosts stay with Paddy even after he had presented his homework?
13. What did Paddy have to do to get the ghosts ‘out of his head’?
14. What message did the ghosts want to get out to as many people as possible?
15. How successful do you think Paddy was in achieving the ghosts aim?
16. In what way did Sam Hunt inspire Paddy to get his story out?
17. Write to the author discussing your thoughts and ideas about the book. Do you have
questions or recommendations?
18. Research and report back on other famous naval battles at;