99th Anniversary of the Titanic disaster

 April 15, 2011 marks the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic. Why are we still so fascinated by this ship and its passengers? For me, it’s because of the unknowns and what could have been. I wish that someone from our time would have been able to talk some sense into Captain Smith and have him turn the ship around, among other things. I must admit I am a little bit of a Titanic fanatic, and I cannot seem to get enough information on the topic. I have even visited the Branson Titanic Museum, and was amazed to see all of the artifacts that were saved from the sinking. And yes, I am still a big fan of James Cameron’s movie…but what can I say? The Titanic is something that will always captivate people. Keep your eyes peeled for more titles coming soon, but in the meantime, please enjoy the titles that I have highlighted!

Alfie, Paddy, Sophie and Juliana are four teenagers with very different lives. Alfie is a young steward who wanted to work on the Titanic so badly that he lied about his age in order to be hired. Paddy is a thief from Belfast who accidentally hid among some of the ship’s cargo to avoid gangsters. Juliana and Sophie are two girls who are traveling in first class. Each one is embarrassed to be accompanied by their parents for many reasons. While these four young passengers do not have much in common at first, they are soon thrown together by the events that happen onboard the ship. Titanic, Book One: Unsinkable is the first book in the newest adventure trilogy by Gordon Korman. Korman is known for his many series books, but the Titanic series is his first to take place in a historical setting. Collision Course is anticipated to be available in May 2011!

George Calder and his sister Phoebe are the luckiest children alive. They get to travel back to New York on the greatest ship of all, the Titanic! George is a prankster and cannot keep out of trouble for long, especially when he learns that a mummy might be on board. While in the storage area looking for this artifact, he hears strange noises and then a deep silence. Frightened, George runs up the steps and learns that the ship has hit an iceberg! At first there is no sense of panic, because everyone is throwing ice balls at each other. Soon it is evident that the ship is sinking, and there is nothing that anyone can do. On top of everything, George’s sister Phoebe is missing. Will he and his aunt find Phoebe in time? I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 is one of several books in the I Survived series, and the next one, titled I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005, is available now!

In this fantastic work of nonfiction, Don Brown gives a brief description of the types of passengers on the Titanic before providing a more intricate portrayal of the events leading up to the sinking. He also includes first-person testimony in this narrative, which ends with the rescue of some of the survivors.  Along with his text that could stand alone, the illustrations are what will enhance the story for readers. His watercolor illustrations are action-packed, but suitably solemn. All Stations! Distress! April 15, 1912: The Day the Titanic Sank is a prime example of how a multifaceted topic can be made available and appealing to children.

Five years ago, Margaret Ann Brady’s brother left her at an orphanage and went to America, where he is saving money to send for her. Margaret gets the opportunity to be a companion for a wealthy American woman named Mrs. Carstairs on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. She is pleased with how simple the job sounds and excited that she will soon see her brother! In Voyage on the Great Titanic (Dear America) the reader moves through Margaret’s fascination with delectable treats and an attractive steward named Robert. She is an engaging character and since she has known poverty, Margaret is responsible and bright for her age. That doesn’t mean that she won’t try a prank or two though! When tragedy strikes the Titanic, will Margaret Ann survive? The voyage and its result will haunt the reader even after reading the last page.

Louise Lambert loves vintage clothes way more than your average 7th grader. Her life has been pretty ordinary thus far until she receives an invitation to a vintage fashion sale. She of course attends the sale in order to find the perfect dress for the upcoming 7th grade dance. Louise finds a beautiful pink dress that strangely smells of seawater, but she tries it on anyway. In the middle of trying on the beautiful dress, she is transported to a 1912 lavish ship and is thought to be Alice Baxter, the silent film star. Just as she is starting to enjoy Baxter’s extensive closet of vintage gowns, she realizes she is on the Titanic. Will she be able to change history and save herself? This novel is a delight to read for fashionistas or people just interested in a good story involving the unsinkable ship. The artwork is also noteworthy because it focuses on the vintage clothing that Louise is obsessed with. I cannot wait to see the final drawings, since I was only able to get my hands on the ARC copy. If you can’t get enough of Louise after you read The Time Traveling Fashionista, you are in luck! She will be traveling to the French Revolution in the next book in this series!

Bibliography:

All Stations! Distress! April 15, 1912: The Day the Titanic Sank by Don Brown. 2010.

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 by Lauren Tarshis. 2010.

The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky. 2011. (Advanced copy)

Unsinkable (Titanic, Book 1) by Gordon Korman. 2011.

Voyage on the Great Titanic (Dear America) by Ellen Emerson White. 2011.

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