Saturday, December 22, 2012

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
by Deborah Hopkinson
304 pages
Middle School+

Another review for the YALSA Best of the Best 2013 Challenge!

This non-fiction account of the sinking of the Titanic is related using journals and letters from the survivors of the crash.  Starting with a description of the ship, it covers many details of the voyage and experiences from the passengers.  It covers what it felt like to be on the maiden tip of the Titanic, when they realized they had hit the iceberg, and how they felt as they realized the ship was going down.

Yay! Another non-fiction book!  I actually really liked this one.  I was scared of having scenes from the movie running through my head as I read, but there was such a wide range of photographs in the book, that never became an issue.  I really liked all the photographs so the reader could see what things had looked like before it sank.

Another thing I really liked about this book was the neutral stance it took on situation.  Many people have been very emphatic about how there wasn't enough lifeboats, and rant on about it.  This book presented facts, including the regulations that the Titanic was required to follow, a statement of what was available that night, and the results of the tragedy.  I rarely picked up any hints of judgment about it, or any other controversial issues.  While it mentions what the reactions of other people were, this book is more about presenting facts about the story than taking a stand on an issue.

I also really enjoyed getting the perspective of several different types of people from the Titanic.  We have letters and records from first, second and third class passengers, crew members, and more.  In addition to that, the last sixty pages are bibliography, facts, charts, and ways to find out more.  This book was well researched, well organized, and a great resource to finding more information.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book!  The narrative flowed very well, especially for a non-fiction book, plus it stayed impartial to the facts.  It presented facts, including reactions of people from that time period, rather than trying to pass judgment about what happened.  It highlighted individual stories, giving the narrative a very personal feel, rather than just a presentation of facts.  Read this book!

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