Scholastic Kids Press Corps
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Book Review: Titanic: Voices from the Disaster

New book gives insight into the historic event, 100 years later

By Claudia Pagnozzi-Schwam | March 30 , 2012

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
By Deborah Hopkinson
Scholastic, March 2012
304 Pages
Ages: 8-12
Grades: 3-8

Deborah Hopkinson's new book, Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, is a detailed story about the Titanic and the first-hand accounts of those who experienced this great ship. This book is an action-packed drama about the 46,000-ton luxury liner the R.M.S. Titanic, which was considered by many to be a "Floating Palace." Wealthy travelers wanted to be on the Titanic for its maiden voyage for its elegant amenities and its famous captain. Captain Smith was often referred to as the "millionaire captain" because so many upper-class passengers would only travel on ships he commanded. But Captian Smith has to think fast and make big decisions when the Titanic gets a warning of an iceberg up ahead.

The beginning of the book provides a great deal of background information about the history of the Titanic. This is important information because it helps you appreciate the magnitude of the events that unfolded. As you progress into the story, there is a sudden twist and suddenly you will not want to put the book down. It's filled with suspense and you will find yourself lost in this adventurous book.

Hopkinson tells this story in a way that makes the reader feel as if they actually know the passengers. You begin to appreciate the sacrifices and agonizing decisions they were forced to make. But one person stands out as a hero. His name is Captain Rostron. He was the captain of the Carpathia, the ship that rescued many of the surviving passengers from the Titanic. He navigated around icebergs to get the survivors from the lifeboats onto his ship. He was so organized that he got doctors, cooks, maids, and other crew members to prepare for their arrival. Even after so many lost loved ones and friends, he did everything he could to assist them.

I would recommend Titanic: Voices From the Disaster to anyone who likes stories of adventure and survival. It's filled with emotion, heartache, and the strength of the human spirit. You learn many facts about the events surrounding the Titanic's voyage. There are also personal stories from the survivors themselves. The book clearly illustrates the many ironies of the Titanic's adventure. What occurred on a clear night with calm and peaceful seas was complete chaos and a horrible tragedy. What was supposed to be a "pleasure trip of a lifetime" becomes a catastrophe. This book was definitely the best non-fiction book I have ever read.

Check out Kid Reporter Claudia Pagnozzi-Schwam's interview with author Deborah Hopkinson !


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