In a closing note, Denenberg writes that his goal is “to make history come alive, to create a sense of being there.” He succeeds entirely in this gripping recounting of the Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage, chronicled in the tabloid-style pages of a fictional magazine, riffing on the format he used in Lincoln Shot! (2008). Melding fact and fiction, the book compiles dramatic headlines, articles that range from news bulletins about the building of the ship to a chatty tour of its lavish interior, and an array of stunning period photographs. At its core is the journal of the magazine’s chief correspondent, a passenger who describes his peers’ onboard pastimes and shares some eerie premonitions (sure that his ship is unsinkable, the captain cancels a lifeboat drill) before delving into a harrowing minute-by-minute report on the ship’s sinking, which ends mid-word. The most chilling section collects actual survivors’ recollections of their experiences in the lifeboats. Published in advance of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, it’s a polished and engaging account of one of the 20th century’s most infamous disasters. Ages 10–up. (Nov.)¦
"Rousing and plenty eerie. The larger-than-usual format allows for readers to be awed by the same thing that awed onlookers in 1912: the gigantic size of everything."
"Denenberg brings the story of the Titanic to life in a way that is both informative and accessible." — School Library Journal, starred review
"This gripping recounting of the Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage...[is] a polished and engaging account of one of the 20th century’s most infamous disasters." — Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The text is lively, compelling and convincing . . . This is history at its best, an original and appealing way to mark the centennial of this familiar disaster." — Kirkus, starred review
"Rousing and plenty eerie. The larger-than-usual format allows for readers to be awed by the same thing that awed onlookers in 1912: the gigantic size of everything." — Booklist, starred review
The Titanic was luxury liner with a short life. It died sinking into the depths of the ocean during its maiden voyage in 1912. Presented in a magazine format, read about the major events of the Titanic's journey and fate. The author, Denenberg, takes on a fictional role of a magazine correspondent named S. F. Vanni to write about the news and information about the ship; He also used headlines to sensationalize the drama of the ship building. Aboard the Titanic, the story changes format. Vanni keeps a journal and writes about the people and the activities on the ship as it crosses the Atlantic. After the tragedy, the magazine format returns with accounts from the survivors and an interview with Captain Rostron who commanded the ship, Carpathia
, which went to rescue passengers from the Titanic. There are several photographs of the ship, crew, and passengers. Denenberg bases his information on a variety of resources which he listed in the bibliography. The book and its format make a fascinating reading experience. Readers may wish to examine Titanic from the "Eyewitness" series along with their reading. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Gr 3–8—Using the form of a fictional magazine from the early part of the 20th century, Denenberg brings the story of the Titanic to life in a way that is both informative and accessible. From its earliest inception, shipping line White Star's plan was to compete in the transatlantic travel business with the German company Cunard, not in speed but in luxury accommodations. In this they succeeded, building three ships nearly simultaneously that were the biggest ever seen, and easily the most elegant, becoming the very definition of luxury transport. Headlined articles provide information about the construction of Titanic, as well as the various features that set the ship apart from other ocean liners. The events surrounding its collision with an iceberg and sinking are shared through the "journals" of a fictional reporter aboard the vessel, though actual details are based on established fact. Period photographs and key players such as Captain Smith, White Star Chairman Bruce Ismay, and others perfectly complement the magazine format and draw readers into the story and the period. Readers with little more than a passing knowledge of the Titanic will find this an excellent introduction to the topic, and those possessing more facts will find plenty of meat in the details to keep them engaged. Librarians looking to update their collections on Titanic as the 100th anniversary approaches will find this to be an interesting and unique addition—-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
A memorial edition of an imagined magazine covers the construction and fateful voyage of the R.M.S.
Titanic, Queen of the Ocean, which sank in April 1912. As in Lincoln Shot! (2008), the design alludes to the historical period, here using the dimensions and sepia tones of an old-time newspaper supplement. Visually dramatic pages are filled with photos and memorabilia as well as eyewitness accounts that add to the "You are there" effect. The first third of Denenberg's narrative consists of articles purportedly published between 1903 and 1912, the second is the unfinished (and miraculously recovered) journal of the magazine's correspondent. The final section includes a chronology of the ship's final hours, statements from survivors and an interview with the captain of the rescue ship, all based on actual testimony. A "note from the publisher" closes the narrative with a short round-up of what followed. This is a story of heroism as well as personal and corporate greed, issues that still resonate today. The text is lively, compelling and convincing, but written to answer 21st-century readers' questions. Because readers know the outcome, many of the chosen quotations sound ironic, especially cheerful reiterations that the ship is unsinkable. This is history at its best, an original and appealing way to mark the centennial of this familiar disaster. (author's note, source notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction.10-14)