Building Character with Tommy Kitt from Powder Monkey

It’s Friday! Time for my blog feature, Building Character in which you get to meet a character from a book. Talking to a character outside of their book is fun! Huge. Amounts. Of fun. 

This week Strands of Thought is excited to host a tour stop for World of Ink. Tommy from Powder Monkey is here to tell his about his harrowing adventure. Tommy, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, my name is Tommy. I’m 12 years old and lived on a farm with my older brother and my parents, until the Press Gang showed up.

Oh, Tommy, that sounds very serious. Can you tell us a little more about that?

Always considered a sissy by my pa because my lack of size and preference to help my ma around the farm instead of him I was first terrified when the Royal Navy Press Gang arrived at our farm. I never had the backbone to stand up for myself or anyone else, until that day. Foregoing my safety I jumped to my ma’s defense when the nasty big man pushed ma to the ground after pa crumbled after one hit. Now who’s the sissy?

What happened next?

I was kidnapped and forced to work on a ship for the Royal Navy.

What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks you’ve encountered while being forced to work on a ship?

Not being big enough to fight and gain my freedom.

Tommy, if you could change one thing in this world, what would you change?

The cruelty of human kind both mentally and physically; and someone thinking they are better than you because they are bigger and stronger.

I completely agree Tommy. Thanks for visiting today and sharing your story with us. Readers, here is more information about Tommy’s story Powder Monkey.

Powder Monkey: Forced into a life at sea by the Royal Navy Press Gangs, 12-year-old Tommy Kitt finds himself in a floating sea of misery. Poor living conditions and beatings occur daily. Despite his runt like size, Tommy must summon the courage and physical ability to prevail in a situation he cannot escape.

Powder Monkey:

And here is some information about Tommy’s author:

Multiple award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine writes, moms and is a personal assistant from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Children’s Literature Network, and Family Reading Partnership.

Write What Inspires You! blog:

If you have a character from a children’s, tween or young adult book that you’d like to see interviewed on Building Character, please contact kaistrand at yahoo dot com.


  1. Hi Kai,

    Thank you for interviewing Tommy Kitt of Powder Monkey. He was thrilled to chat with you.


  2. Tommy has such an important story to tell. I'm so glad I could help him share it.


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