School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8-Accounts of some spectacular mishaps on dangerous voyages fill these fascinating volumes. Shipwrecks includes losses of many different types of vessels, from ferries and commercial fishing boats to oil tankers and luxury liners, during the 19th and 20th centuries. Crew errors, design flaws, weather, and carelessness in various combinations are revealed as contributing factors in every incident. Contemporary halftone photographs add poignancy to each wreck. Descriptions are not overly dramatic but are continuously interesting. Colorfully illustrated works such as Rick Archbold and Robert D. Ballard's Ghost Liners (Little, Brown, 1998) and Richard Platt's Shipwreck (DK, 2000) are much more visually stimulating but not as inclusive and varied in the types of vessels involved. Setting Tragedies apart from others on the topic is the inclusion of several Russian losses, but the bulk of the work covers the Challenger and Columbia disasters. Behind-the-headlines details are fresh and thought-provoking. Results of investigations indicate that all accidents could have been prevented or the severity of their consequences reduced. Halftone photographs and clear drawings speak to the reality of these events. Both volumes are rich in content and detail. The substantial bibliographic resources include books, periodicals, and a great number of Internet sources. Colorful covers combine with spacious formats in these attractive packages.-Ann G. Brouse, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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