Titanic Sinks!

Barry Denenberg. Viking, $19.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-670-01243-5
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.)■
Reviewed on: 10/17/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Genre: Children's
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