By Deborah Hopkinson
Scholastic Press, $17.99, 290 pages
There have been countless shipwrecks throughout history, but the sinking of the Titanic is special. It stands out from its peers not just for the sheer horror of the night that saw the ship go down, but also for the incredible hubris that made the disaster so much worse. At every turn, something goes wrong: ignored ice warnings, missing binoculars, a shortage of lifeboats. Deborah Hopkinson writes of all these things using firsthand accounts to bring April 15, 1912, to life one hundred years later. Letters, photographs, telegrams, and interviews from survivors capture the event and make it personal and relatable.
There are great details and anecdotes to be found in Hopkinson’s book. It goes beyond what happened to exactly how it happened for different people. Accounts from passengers from first, second, and third class, from men, women and children, and from officers, crew, and workers tell the tale from all sides. As a book for children, Titanic: Voices From the Disaster does a good job striking a balance between information, entertainment and readability. It gives an overview of that fateful voyage while focusing on individual stories of survival.
Reviewed by Leah Sims