Review of Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, by Deborah Hopkinson


Voices from the Disaster

by Deborah Hopkinson

Scholastic Press, New York, 2012. 289 pages.
Starred Review
2012 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #3 Children’s Nonfiction

Normally, I never ever read disaster stories. It’s too easy to imagine it happening. I didn’t even ever go see the Titanic movie. I mean, come on, I know how it ends! The only reason I read this book was because it is under consideration by Capitol Choices.

That said, the book tells a compelling story. Though the author does stress the horrible loss of life, some of the impact of the disaster is softened because she focuses on the stories of survivors. Throughout the book, she uses quotations from the survivors, earning the book its subtitle Voices from the Disaster.

The book is also filled with photographs and written in an episodic way that makes you want to keep on reading and browsing. You’ll find out you don’t actually know what happened next, and you want to find out. In the back matter, Deborah Hopkinson even points to websites and still unresolved questions for those who want to explore further. This book is also an excellent look at how historians think.

In her Foreword, Deborah Hopkinson says it well:

Maybe the Titanic makes us all historians. We can’t help being curious: What happened? Why? Who said what and when? What did it mean? And, of course, what if?

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Source: This review is based on a library book from the Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I write the posts for my website and blogs entirely on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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