Titanic Crossing

Barbara Williams, Author
Barbara Williams, Author Dial Books $15.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-8037-1790-9
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
The sinking of the Titanic in April 1912 provides the emotional peak of this fact-based novel. Albert Trask, 13, is thrilled to be leaving England with his widowed mother, uncle and six-year-old sister. He's had enough of private tutoring and rainy weather, and can't wait to return to the family home outside Washington, D.C. But as the journey begins, Albert overhears a passenger suggest that the vessel isn't carrying enough lifeboats-a suspicion he confirms in conversation with a crewman. Williams (Mitzi and the Terrible Tyrannosaurus Rex) devotes relatively little space to the actual calamity, however, and the lengthy prelude grows tedious. The author's postscript mentions that Albert was created from a boy she discovered in her research, a 13-year-old initially prevented from boarding a lifeboat because he had attained the age of manhood. No passage in the novel itself, unfortunately, evokes the catastrophe with as much poignancy. Ages 9-13. (June)