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Iceberg, Right Ahead!: The Tragedy of the Titanic

Iceberg, Right Ahead!: The Tragedy of the Titanic

5.0 3
by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson

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"Iceberg, Right Ahead!"Only 160 minutes passed between the time a sailor on lookout duty uttered these chilling words and the moment when the mighty ocean linerTitanic totally disappeared into the cold, dark waters of the North Atlantic. This century-old tragedy, which took more than 1,500 lives, still captivates people in the twenty-first century. Seventy-three


"Iceberg, Right Ahead!"Only 160 minutes passed between the time a sailor on lookout duty uttered these chilling words and the moment when the mighty ocean linerTitanic totally disappeared into the cold, dark waters of the North Atlantic. This century-old tragedy, which took more than 1,500 lives, still captivates people in the twenty-first century. Seventy-three years separate the two major Titanic events—the 1912 sinking of the vessel and the dramatic 1985 discovery of the wreck by Robert Ballard. But additional stories about the victims, survivors, rescuers, reporters, investigators, and many others show the far-reaching effects this tragedy had on society. Award-winning author Stephanie Sammartino McPherson has collected numerous personal accounts of the event, including the knighted man who spent the rest of his life in seclusion because he was accused of dishonorable behavior in a lifeboat, the stewardess who survived two shipwrecks and a mid-ocean collision, and the New York Times executive who sent multiple reporters to meet the rescue ship, thus earning a national reputation for his newspaper. She also links theTitanic tragedy to changes in regulations worldwide. After a Senate Inquiry and a British trial attempted to assign blame for the disaster, new laws on ship safety were put in place. A group of nations also banded together to form an ice patrol, eventually leading to the formation of the U.S. Coast Guard. Even the most avid Titanic fans will learn something new as McPherson brings the reader up to date on the politics and intrigue still surrounding the wreck—including what modern science can reveal about what really happened to the ship and who was at fault. Prepare to follow the never-ending story of theTitanic into its second century.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Elaine Gass Hirsch
The tension surrounding the Titanic's demise captures readers from page one of the introduction in this new release, which coincides with the one-hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the ship in April 2012. A comprehensive overview, the book covers the construction of the steamship Titantic and her two sister ships; life onboard for the 2,214 passengers and crew before, during, and after the crash; the rescue of only 705 survivors and the ensuing investigation into the disaster; as well as contemporary research efforts to understand, preserve, and memorialize the wreck. The author has clearly done her research, and the layout, numerous sidebars, and archival photographs are of high quality and quickly engage the reader. Complete citations and source notes, however, would improve the scholarship and authoritative quality of the text. Educators might appreciate the free educational resources related to the Titanic on the Lerner Source website, and the appended materials lead readers to additional sources of information. This is a worthwhile addition to your maritime collection. Reviewer: Elaine Gass Hirsch
Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
Late on the evening of April 14, 1912 lookouts aboard the Titanic peered across the darkened waters of the North Atlantic in search of icebergs. Steaming along at high speed, the Titanic epitomized the zenith of modern construction. This largest of all ships, was deemed unsinkable by its designer. Leaving Great Britain for what was anticipated to be the speediest Atlantic crossing ever, the Titanic was destined to etch a place in history that none of its passengers or crew could have foreseen. Striking an iceberg near midnight, the mighty ship sank within 160 minutes of the accident. Over 1,400 human beings perished in a catastrophe that continues to transfix people who continue to study it to this very day. McPherson recreates the events that not only occurred during the tragic sinking of the Titanic but also the science of the great ship's demise and rediscovery on the distant ocean floor. Using a variety of sources, and incorporating a host of visual imagery, McPherson creates a book that draws her readers into the events of those nearly century old events. The end result is a captivating look back at a human tragedy that was wrought by misjudgment, hubris, and misfortune. This is a fine book and one that readers with any interest in the Titanic will enjoy. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
Kirkus Reviews
With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy coming up in April 2012, this engaging overview retells the powerful story and its aftermath. McPherson opens effectively, with the crucial scene when the iceberg was spotted "right ahead," noting that the lookout binoculars had been missing for days, and gives a brief recap of the sinking. The narrative then goes back through a brief history of steamships and the business reasons for building huge ones, followed by a more detailed account of the trip and its terrible end, the survivors' arrival in New York and the quickly convened Senate hearings about the disaster. Final chapters report on finding and excavating the ship in recent years. The smooth writing uses many quotes from the time, deftly incorporates facts and conveys the terror and heartbreak of the sinking, in which more than 1,500 died, and the rescue of about 700. A graceful design with a wide format features many historical photographs and illustrations, and sidebars on a host of topics such as significant people and statistics. Although the source notes and index are inadequate, McPherson provides a timeline, glossary, bibliography and thoughtful list for finding more information. An attractive, solid entry on a disaster that continues to fascinate. (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Library Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
1070L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 16 Years

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Meet the Author

Stephanie Sammartino McPherson wrote her first children's story in college. She enjoyed the process so much that she's never stopped writing. A former teacher and freelance newspaper writer, she has written twenty-eight books and numerous magazine stories. She especially enjoys writing about science and the human interest stories behind major discoveries. Her most recent book is a biography of Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web. Stephanie and her husband Richard live in Virginia but also call California home. They are the parents of two grown children.

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Iceberg, Right Ahead!: The Tragedy of the Titanic 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Liked this book because I like history and this is an interesting story.This is a non-fiction book called “Iceberg Right Ahead” is about the horrifying story of the Titanic. The book called “Iceberg Right Ahead” was about the the sinking of the Titanic and some of the stories told by the survivors. I like this book because it tells specifically about the Titanic. I recommend this book to grade levels 4-12.
NovelChatter More than 1 year ago
Author Stephanie Sammartino McPherson has written a fact filled account of the tragedy that was Titanic. Just about 100 pages in length, she easily shares accounts, photos, sketches and enough information about what happened after the survivors returned home, to engage a reader of any age. Iceberg, Right Ahead is directed at a YA audience and I think that's such a fabulous thing! There are many lessons to be learned and McPherson touches on the most important, that actions matter and lives and reputations can be ruined with false accounts and misinformation. She also tells of the great heroism, from so many people in all walks of life that night. The term "women and children first" bring a whole new concept to how life was a hundred years ago, both good and not-so-good. Iceberg, Right Ahead is an easy read and a gorgeous read thanks to the many photos and sketches. I especially like that she included the "unsinkable" Margaret Brown, Titanic's Captain Smith and also the recovery mission of Robert Ballard in 1985. Iceberg, Right Ahead is a great way to introduce readers of all ages to the human and the physical tragedy that was Titanic. I've always been mesmerized by the accounts of the Titanic and I hope this book will entice another generation to learn more about how the unsinkable Titanic when down in a few hours. 5 out of 5 stars. * This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley and that, in no way, affected my honest review.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
What an amazing book! It's the story of the Titanic disaster--before, during, and after--but it's also a collection of stories of people, companies, and even objects associated with the ship. My son was crazy about the Titanic when he was younger, so I've read countless books about it to and with him as well as watching several programs about it (we got Ghosts of the Abyss almost as soon as it came out) and even so there were so many pieces of information and stories in here that I'd never heard before. It's engagingly written so that both adults and young readers can enjoy it--a glossary a the back explains nautical terms, and throughout the book important vocabulary is defined in the reading so that the information makes sense. The amount of research that went into this book is incredible, and it really pays off--the latest information is in here, disproving some long-held beliefs about the sinking of the ship. With the 100th anniversary of the disaster right around the corner, this book will make an excellent addition to any library or Titanic enthusiast's collection.