White Star: A Dog on the Titanic

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Overview

A simply-told, poignant tale of friendship and survival, set on history's most famous doomed ship!

The year is 1912, and twelve-year-old Sam Harris is traveling from England to America on the grand ship theTitanic. Sam is lonely at first, but is soon delighted to discover that there are dogs aboard! When Sam volunteers to help out in the kennel, he meets Star, a spunky Irish setter that belongs to the ship's captain. Sam and Star become fast friends, and when disaster strikes, ...

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Overview

A simply-told, poignant tale of friendship and survival, set on history's most famous doomed ship!

The year is 1912, and twelve-year-old Sam Harris is traveling from England to America on the grand ship theTitanic. Sam is lonely at first, but is soon delighted to discover that there are dogs aboard! When Sam volunteers to help out in the kennel, he meets Star, a spunky Irish setter that belongs to the ship's captain. Sam and Star become fast friends, and when disaster strikes, the boy and dog must rely on each other more than ever before. The harrowing, breathless conclusion -- and fascinating historical information -- makes this boy-and-dog tale truly unforgettable.

Twelve-year-old Sam, a passenger on the Titanic's maiden sea voyage, volunteers to help care for the dogs in the ocean liner's kennel and becomes fast friends with the Irish setter of J. Bruce Ismay, the ship's owner.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Crisp meshes real and fictional figures in this middling tale centering on two survivors of the Titanic shipwreck: a 12-year-old boy and the dog belonging to the head of the White Star Line, owner of the doomed liner. When he spies the Irish setter boarding the ship with his master, Sam feels an immediate attachment to the beautiful dog, since he strongly resembles that owned by the boy's father, who died six years earlier. Sam's mother then gave the dog away-and sent her son to stay with his grandparents in England. Now Sam, reluctantly returning to America to live with his mother and new stepfather, finds comfort in the company of the setter-which he calls Star-and delights in helping the cabin boy in charge of the kennel care for him. As the days count down to disaster, Sam crosses paths with other canine passengers and their owners and spends time with his best friend, a likable, happy-go-lucky lad who, a bit too coincidentally, is crossing the Atlantic on the same ship and, a bit too predictably, is not among the survivors. Readers will obviously be pulling for Sam and Star when the two leap overboard as the Titanic begins to sink: Star-again, not surprisingly-buoys up the boy, and the two are rescued by a lifeboat. The characterization, plot and dialogue do not always ring true, but the novel's inherently gripping historical underpinnings, clearly well researched by Crisp, keep the story afloat. Ages 8-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Since James Cameron's movie Titanic came out a few years ago, numerous books have appeared on the subject. White Star takes a fresh look at the topic, however, by focusing on the fate of the dogs on the ship. The story is told from the point of view of Sam Harris, a twelve year old traveling back to America to be re-united with his mother and her new husband. Sam develops a keen interest in the dogs traveling with him, and spends a lot of time in the kennel. His favorite dog is White Star, owned by Mr. Bruce Ismay, owner of the Titanic. The plan is for White Star to become the canine representative for the White Star line of ships. However, when the Titanic strikes the iceberg, the fate of the dogs, along with the majority of humans, is jeopardized. This wonderful piece of historical fiction follows the accounts of what actually happened, includes real as well as fictionalized characters, and provides an accurate picture of what an upper-class boy and a dog would have undergone during the tragedy. 2004, Holiday House, Ages 8 to 12.
—Amie Rose Rotruck
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A fresh approach to a popular topic that is both engaging and informative. Sam Harris, 12, is on his way to America to join his mother and new stepfather. A dog lover, he spends the bulk of his time aboard the Titanic in the ship's kennels and forms a strong attachment to the owner's dog, whom he names Star. Readers meet some of the other passengers and observe the strong friendship between Sam and Bucky, the friend who has helped him recover from the death of his father and loss of his mother (who moved back to America six years earlier). Life aboard ship is well described as is the sense of unreality when passengers first hear the call to lifeboats on the fateful night of the disaster. Unlike Eve Bunting's SOS Titanic (Harcourt, 1996), this story continues in the frigid waters as survivors struggle to stay afloat, as well as on the rescue ship Carpathia and back in New York. Sam, still numb from his ordeal, must deal with the anger of Bucky's mother when she realizes that Sam and the dog he loves have survived but her son has not. In a happy ending for Sam, he gets to keep Star and knows that he and his new stepfather are going to get along just fine. Back matter includes a map of the Titanic's voyage, a time line, and biographical sketches of some of the real survivors and victims. A well-researched and competently executed story.-Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Crisp tells the familiar tale of the sinking of the Titanic with a twist. With a dog show scheduled for the afternoon of April 15, 1912, it's clear that dogs were among the passengers destined for harbor in New York. Samuel Harris, having completed his exams in England is traveling home to be reunited with his mother and to meet her new husband. His doubts about his new life are quickly overshadowed, first by the majesty of the ship and then by the terrible disaster. Following his love of dogs, Sam makes himself useful in the kennels, where he meets Star, an exceptional Irish Setter. Filled with interesting facts about the famous ocean liner, this tale manages to offer some little-known tidbits and debunks some myths. Occasional passages that seem forced and overly obvious do little to mar an interesting look at a familiar subject. Appendices include maps, a timeline, and a suggested reading list. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823415984
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2008

    A reviewer

    This was the best book I have ever read in my life. I checked it out once for a book report and I check it out again every time we go to the library! I would recommend it to everybody in the world if I knew how to spread the word of the greatest book on earth!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2005

    loyda zogaib

    While reading this book with my little brother,I have noticed all the great adventures,and the determination that has happened during this fantastic book,if you are a person that loves pets such as the dog I refer this book for those types,I am in the 6th grade going to 7th, I have read this book with my youngest brother,I hope you like it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2005

    best book ever

    white star:a dog on the titanic is a really good book.it reminds me about the servivers on the titanic.it is my favorite book.this has everything i want in a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2005

    SSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR RRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!

    WHITE STAR IS A GREAT BOOK 2 READ. IF YOU LIKE WATCHING THE TITANIC MOVIE YOU'LL LOVE THIS. (DOG LOVER'S WANTED TO READ THIS BOOK!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2004

    White Star: A Dog on the Titanic is awsome!

    If you are a dog lover and is interested in the Titanic. You will love this book. I hily recommend this book!

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    Posted November 18, 2011

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    Posted July 16, 2010

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    Posted July 25, 2009

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    Posted July 27, 2010

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