Thursday, February 9, 2012


Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
Deborah Hopkinson
275 pages
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: review request

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

I don't normally review non-fiction for my blog, but when I was contacted about this book I practically jumped at the chance.  I'm sure I'm the not the most obsessed-with-the-Titanic person you've ever met, but the event really does capture my attention.  When the book arrived via UPS today, I read it immediately.

Books about the Titanic, whether fiction or non-fiction, invariably follow the same course, that is chronological, from describing the grandeur of the ship, through to what it was like to stay on it, down the it's last minutes.  And inevitably, the same thing always happens to me when I read such books; I get sucked up into how fantastic the ship was that I almost forget what happens in the end.  The same ending always comes and I'm left heartbroken.

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, is a middle-grade non-fiction book that accurately depicts the ships lifespan, from conception to sinking.  What was unique about this book, however, were the additional things included with the narrative.  There are several first person accounts, which really enhance the book.  Even more exciting, I thought, were the plethora of photographs that accompany the book.  There were photos of people, the gym, the Parisian cafe, and lifeboats.  There were also artist renditions of the ship and its sinking.

This book may be geared towards the middle-grades, but I still learned a few things myself and I think the first person accounts and photographs will really help draw in adult readers as well as children.  The end of the book includes a few fact sheets as well as an extensive bibliography so the reader can research more on their own.  I highly recommend it, even if you're just buying it for your child and glancing at the photos yourself.

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster will be released March 1, just in time for the centennial of the ship's sinking.

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