Monday, June 4, 2012

Review of Titanic: Disaster at Sea

I was a kid when the Titanic was found lying at the bottom of the sea. I was absolutely mesmerized by the story and all of those photographs published in the National Geographic magazine. The book Titanic: Disaster at Sea is the kind of book I would have read to shreds when I was a kid.

It is one of those nonfiction books for kids that is chock full of details on just about every aspect of the topic. It shares the history of shipbuilding at the time, to put Titanic into perspective. A giant pull-out poster demonstrates the sheer size of the vessel, with a detailed diagram explaining all of her bells and whistles. Illustrations adorn each page to demonstrate the action of the moment. Each illustration is accompanied by fact boxes that detail each person or item, including a real photograph. I think the real photographs are key to really teaching about the history of Titanic. When the part comes about the sinking, a timeline is included in each corner, based on the bridge time and records kept.

A brief section following the details of the sinking highlights some of the more famous survivor stories, almost like a newspaper from the times. The book then touches on the discovery of the ship, the traveling exhibit and famous movies about Titanic before discussing modern steamliners and the lessons learned.

While I was reading through this book, I didn't particularly notice any new information that I had not yet already encountered somewhere else. However, this is one of the most complete and up-to-date books for kids that I have seen about the tragedy. It isn't a book that is going to be easily shared in a group of children. It is a book that is going to engage children either individually or with one other person as they devour all of the tidbits of information. For me, it would have inspired a desire to learn even more about the ship. I would recommend it for elementary and older.

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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