Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson (originally published 2012) is an amazing nonfiction account of the Titanic disaster, drawn directly from first-hand accounts written by the survivors of the Titanic crash, as well as the letters and notes of those who did not survive.
What most impressed me by Ms. Hopkinson’s account was the amazing readability of the story. She quoted from first-hand accounts throughout, but it never felt dry. Instead, she provided a clear framework for why the ship was so incredible, the events leading up to the crash, the crash itself, and the aftermath of the disaster. The people whose stories she shared became real. I could not help becoming emotional as I imagined the moments of realization among the passengers and crew as they realized the painful fact: the ship was going down.
Of course, my adult perspective and especially the pregnancy hormones may have made me more susceptible to such emotions. However, since this was one of the nominated books for the Bluestem Award in Illinois, which is an award 3-5 graders may vote on. I hope that the youth enjoy it as much as I did! It is truly fascinating.
The things that I love about children’s nonfiction are the high quality, the readability of the text, and the shortness. It’s true! Sometimes I am fascinated by a topic, but 250+ adult nonfiction pages are too much. This book was the perfect length for me to invest in my interest in the Titanic disaster, plus it was simply great reading! I highly recommend it to adult and child readers (ages 9 and up) alike!