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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: 9780439712651
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 12, 2013

    I love books about the Titanic, but I've never read one that rea

    I love books about the Titanic, but I've never read one that really told about the dogs that were on board. Indeed, there was a dog kennel on the Titanic!

    Sam Harris is a young boy in 1912 traveling on the Titanic. He has a sharp eye for dogs and always enjoys having fun. He makes friends with the boy who works in the ship's kennel, Phineas MacDonald. Together, with Sam's friend, Bucky, these boys create their own adventures aboard the ship (mostly adventures which include dogs).

    White Star is the name of the beautiful Irish setter which immediately becomes attached to Sam. However, it's the Titanic owner's dog, so Sam knows that their time together is short.

    It's a quick, fun book. Most suitable for ages 9-14. The story is dominantly about boys, but girls would enjoy reading "White Star: A Dog on the Titanic" too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    great book

    White star by Marty Crisp was a very cool book mostly when the titanic starts to sink.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    White Star

    I would like to recommend the book called White Star a Dog on the Titanic by Marty Crisp. The genre is realistic fiction/historical fiction. The setting is the Atlantic Ocean on the Titanic in 1912. The main characters are Sam with his friend Bucky. Sam loves dogs so he volunteers to help out at the kennels. He gets attached to this dog-named Star. They will play all day. When the Titanic meets its doom the dog and the boy have to rely on each other like never before if they were to get through this. My favorite part was when the 2 boys and Star were looking for the ships cat and Star led them to below deck. The workers do not allow the passengers to be down there so they had to hide from them so no one would see them. Bucky got caught while Star and Sam jumped into a pile of coal. They were sent up to the deck and couldn¿t go back down. Sam had to return Star to the kennel but they were both filthy with ash, so Sam brought Star to his room to take a bath. They got water everywhere and Star didn¿t want to get wet. Sam needed assistance to help pick up so he called room service. While Sam brought Star back, room service was picking up his room for him. I just thought that was a fun part and especially what I knew was ahead for them. From reading this book I now know what you suffered being on the Titanic, having your friends and family die because of such tragedy. I like how the author describes how they characters are really feeling and you feel like you are that character. Like when Sam came off the Titanic he felt like his life had just fallen apart and nothing makes sense. I think this is a short easy read '130 pages long' that will bring you into the story. This would definitely be in my top 10 books. I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical/realistic fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2007

    A dog on the Titanic

    White Star is a book about a gog on the Titanic. It is a sad,funny and historic book about a boy and his dog on the axual voyage of the Titanic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    White Star

    The title of my book that I read is White Star, by Marty Crisp. This story takes place on April 15, 1912 in the Atlantic Ocean. The genre is realistic fiction because this story really could have happened. White Star is about a boy named Sam Harris and a dog named Star (Sam¿s made up name) who struggle to survive on the titanic. Sam is a 12 year old boy who had lived with his grandma and grandpa for most of his growing up life because his mom could not take car of him. He ended up on the titanic because he was going back to his mom and new step dad. Star is going to be a top dog. He is a Irish setter. My favorite part of the story is when star jumps of the titanic into the freezing cold water and Sam has no choice but to jump of with him. That is my favorite part of the story because Sam rusts his life jumping off a huge boat into below 0 water for a cool dog who he half knows. I would recommend this book because It is a good book and you never want to le go of it. I would recommend it to any body how has a passion for pets.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    White Star

    White Star is a great book. I would recommend this book because it is very intense. The main characters are Sam and his friend Bucky. Sam and Bucky are on the Titanic of the White Star Line. He was in England because his mother sent him there after his father died. Bucky and Sam have lots of adventures on the Titanic. They also meet new friends. One of them is Finn he¿s the dog keeper on the Titanic. Sam is a dog lover and that¿s when he met Mr. Daniel. Mr. Daniel is a banker from Philadelphia. That¿s when he met Star the dog. At first Star had no name, but Sam named him. Finn secretly let Sam take tar for walks. Sam has a great time on the Titanic with Star, Bucky, and the others. However soon disaster strikes. As the Titanic meets its fate Sam need to depend on each other to survive. The rest you will have to read to find out if Sam and star survive. Hope you like it! My favorite part is when Sam and star are covered in coal dust Sam tries to wash star. After that the bathroom was never the same.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2007

    Kid Review!

    The setting of this story is 1912 Cherbourg, France to New York Harbor. The genre for this story is realistic fiction. There are 130 pages and there is 16 chapters. The story is about a boy, and his love for dogs. He is riding on the Titanic and he has a best friend who he calls Bucky. He is going to America to live with his mom and her new fiancé Jack. He is nervous about going to live with his mom who he barley remembers, and his new step dad jack. Who he doesn¿t even know or know anything about. The main character in my book is Sam, he loves dogs and he is very course about things. Sam¿s dad died when he was 7 and then he went to live with his grandmother and grandfather in England. My favorite part in this book was when Sam, Bucky and a dog named star went down to the fuel aria of the Titanic, and caused a lot trouble. Then when they went back to their cabin they where back with coal dust and very dirty. It was fun to listen to how they managed to clean off. It sounded like it was very messy in Sam¿s bunk! While Sam and Star cleaned off. Bucky was still in the fuel room asking the men questions about the engine to help stall so that star and Sam could make it back to their bunk.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2007

    kid review

    I would like to recommend White Star: A Dog on the Titanic by Marty Crisp. The book takes place on the Titanic in 1912.It has 130 pages and it would de a quick read. It is Historical Fiction. It has a lot of people but there is one main character. His name is Sam. Sam is a passenger on the Titanic. He goes down to the dog kennels and finds White Start. He is an Irish Setter he is a very good dog because he is a champion show dog. I did not like the first six chapters because it was very slow. Also it described thing I did not need to know. For example did not need to know out a rich lady¿s coat. But after the first six chapters it was great because that is when the ship stared to sink. My favorite part was when another lifeboat resued Sam and Star. But Sam and Star were not on the Titanic when they got rescued because they were in the ocean. Star jumped off the side of the boat and Sam followed him because he loved that dog. It gave me hope again because now know I that they would have a better chance to stay alive now. I would like to recommend White Star: A Dog on the Titanic. This was a good book because it had a lot of action. It also had a part where it was part survival. Read the book and find out what part it is. I hope you will like this book. I give it four stars. At the back of the book there are pages about the Titanic. One of them is a map of the Titanic voyage. Another page is a time line of the Titanic. Other pages are about fascinating mysteries, fascinating people, survivors, victims, and more. Those pages were very good for informing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2007

    White Star

    I would really recommend the book White Star by Marty Crisp. The book is of the genre realistic fiction. In this book there is great love and friendship between a boy and a dog. The boy¿s name is Sam and the dog¿s name is White Star and he was famous. Before Sam got on the ship he was going to his parents to see his new dad. When he was going he went on the R.M.S Titanic. The people on the ship thought the ship was unsinkable. My favorite part of White Star is when the ship was sinking. I like this part because it had all kinds of things happening to the R.M.S Titanic. The first thing that happened in the ship was that some of the crew on the Titanic was giving out lifejackets to people in their rooms, helping them get ready to go on the lifeboats. Afterwards, Sam went to the top of the ship where there was a lot of moving. Sam took the dog out of the dog pen before it sank. After I read it I could feel how the character had been in the story and his thoughts and his feelings. I recommend White Star to people that love animals and friendship. I also would say that in this book there are a lot of feelings. There is commotion and action all the time with Sam and his friend Becky and the dog. Sam is going from his grandparents to his parents on the R.M.S Titanic. So if you like adventure books and excitement then check this book out of any close library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2007

    white Star

    I would really recommend the book White Star by Marty Crisp. The book is of the genre realistic fiction. In this book there is great love and friendship between a boy and a dog. The boy¿s name is Sam and the dog¿s name is White Star and he was famous. Before Sam got on the ship he was going to his parents to see his new dad. When he was going he went on the R.M.S Titanic. The people on the ship thought the ship was unsinkable. My favorite part of White Star is when the ship was sinking. I like this part because it had all kinds of things happening to the R.M.S Titanic. The first thing that happened in the ship was that some of the crew on the Titanic was giving out lifejackets to people in their rooms, helping them get ready to go on the lifeboats. Afterwards, Sam went to the top of the ship where there was a lot of moving. Sam took the dog out of the dog pen before it sank. After I read it I could feel how the character had been in the story and his thoughts and his feelings. I recommend White Star to people that love animals and friendship. I also would say that in this book there are a lot of feelings. There is commotion and action all the time with Sam and his friend Becky and the dog. Sam is going from his grandparents to his parents on the R.M.S Titanic. So if you like adventure books and excitement then check this book out of any close library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2007

    A reviewer

    I would like to recommend the book White Star by Marty Crisp for historical fiction readers. The story is set during the time of the Titanic and is about a 12-year old dog loving boy named Sam Harris heading to America to see his new father. He is traveling with his friend that is always positive, Bucky Kingsbury on the most famous ship on Earth, the Titanic. Once on the ship Sam finds out there are dogs on the Titanic he immediately volunteers to help out the kennel. While wandering on the ship Sam finds a dog named Star that he is very fond of and they instantly become friends. As we all know that disaster strikes on that fateful day Sam and Star must help each other to survive¿ One of my favorite parts of this book is when Sam¿s lucky coin from his grandpa slides out of his jacket pocket and it falls into the water. He desperately try¿s to reach it, but a sea gull come out of nowhere and catches it right before it falls into the water! After that Sam is upset because his luck is all gone, but then Bucky tells him at least the gull will feel even worse than him after eating the coin. I chose this part of the as my favorite part because I think its really weird how a gull would catch a coin that fell out of a person pocket and it also seems pretty weird when you imagine it. I would recommend this book because it is about one of the most amazing and unexpected thing¿s in the world. Finally I would give this book a 3.5 because I¿m not that in to historical fiction, but if someone else read it I bet they would give it a 4-4.5 rating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007

    White Star: A dog on the Titanic

    I would like to recommend the book White Star: A Dog on the Titanic by Marty Crisp. The genre of the book is historical fiction. The setting takes place on the Titanic, on it¿s first and only voyage through the sea. The book tells the story of a boy Sam Harris who is taking a trip on the Titanic from his grandparents, who live in England, to his recently remarried mother in New York. On the very long voyage through the sea, Sam learns that there are actually dogs on the boat. He goes racing to the kennel to see all the dogs, and when they get there, Sam sees an Irish setter that he thought looked exactly like his dads deceased dog Rusty. When the Titanic starts to sink Sam immediately thinks of the dog he has now named Star. Sam risks his life to save the dog, but will they survive the bone chilling sea that lies ahead of them? The main characters include Sam is a twelve year old boy who is very curious about everything and is willing to work hard. Sam is the kind of boy who does not want to let go of some things (Star). Another main character is Star who is a very energetic dog who loves Sam. Also in the story Sam finds out that Star belongs to Mr. Ismay, also known as the owner of the White Star Line. My favorite part of the story is when Sam refuses to go inside the lifeboat when the Titanic started to sink. Sam rushed to the kennel to get Star. This is my favorite part, because it shows that Sam really cares about Star. In the story Sam is wild and a little immature, but in this part, it shows that he really can care about things in life. I would like to recommend this book because it is a great story showing how a kid and a dog bond. This book is a great read, and it isn¿t that long. If you like to read books about dogs, that have some adventure, this is a book for you. The book is pretty easy to read and doesn¿t have very many confusing parts in it, so it is great for many kids. White Star is an amazing story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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