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TITANIC: Voices from the Disaster

Author: Deborah Hopkinson

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Publisher: Scholastic, 2013

Material: hard cover

Summary: This chronology of the sinking of the Titanic weaves together the stories of witnesses, survivors, and other official documents. The narrative is complemented with lots of illustrations and photographs. This is a photo-illustrated nonfiction book for pre-teens and young adults.

Type of Reading: independent reading

Recommended Age: read together: 9 and Up; read yourself: 12 and Up

Interest Level: 10 and Up

Reading Level: 7.4

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: I personally loved this book, but I am a little bit of a nerd and truly enjoy learning about historic events. Even if non-fiction events are not your thing, I'm sure you will still enjoy this book. This book is so wonderfully written you will struggle to put it down.The author presents the information in a non-boring, almost story like fashion that makes the book that much more interesting.

Because of its content and reading level, I would recommend this book for ages 11 to 13. The book is a realistic account of the events of the Titanic, which could be a little much for younger readers. I would love to receive this book as a gift and keep on my bookshelf at home.

Adult Reader Reaction: I admit that the Titanic isn’t of great interest to me. I was excited to read the book so that I could learn more and see what everyone is so fascinated with. While enjoyable, I found the book hard to read, particularly with all of the details about decks, room locations, etc. Usually I can keep that stuff in my head, but I kept going back to the diagrams to try to sort it out. If I’m doing that and getting frustrated, will a MG / YA reader have the same reaction?

Pros: Readers who think they know about the Titanic will enjoy this unique perspective from people who were there and poring over lots of great imagery.

Cons: The *story* got bogged down with lots of detail and sometimes has a feel that you're just reading lists of facts.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Readers curious about the Titanic will find it interesting to see all of the images and illustrations.


Educational Themes: Use this book to show young readers the level of research and detail that go into writing nonfiction.

Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2012 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award (Cybils) process. This review is not intended to represent the opinions of the Cybils. The book will be donated to a reader in need.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - US history, boats, middle grade

Date(s) Reviewed: February 2013, January 2014, June 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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