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Titanic: Voices From the Disaster by Deborah…

Titanic: Voices From the Disaster (edition 2012)

by Deborah Hopkinson

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Title:Titanic: Voices From the Disaster
Authors:Deborah Hopkinson (Author)
Info:Scholastic Press (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Informational Books, Biography, Historical Fiction, Chapter Books
Tags:Titanic, Ship Wreck, History

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Titanic: Voices From the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson


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No matter how much I read about the Titanic, it turns out I can always read more - and learn something new. Deborah Hopkinson's Titanic is an excellent new resource, with a clear, chronological narrative and plenty of added value in the form of photographs, illustrations, charts, lists, and back matter including a glossary, letters from survivors, a timeline, facts & figures, statistics, snippets of primary source documents, and a bibliography. She highlights a few lesser-known survivors, including men, women, children, passengers from all classes, and crew members.


Would history have been changed if the men on the Californian had been more decisive? What might have happened if the Californian arrived on the scene after the first distress rocket was spotted? (The Titanic and the Californian, 102)

A list of drowned passengers who died when the RMS Titanic went down. (Caption for image, 186)

"I think we all realized that time may be measured more by events than by seconds and minutes: what the astronomer would call 2:20 a.m. April 15, 1912, the survivors called 'the sinking of the Titanic,'" [survivor Lawrence Beesley*] said. (197)

[9yo] Frankie Goldsmith and his mother, Emily, arrived in New York destitute...they only received fifteen dollars from the White Star Line and two railroad tickets to Detroit... (208) The Truth About the Titanic originally published 1913 (mentioned p. 213)

The events of the Titanic disaster can be seen as a symbol of what happens through overconfidence in technology, complacence, and a mindset of profits over people's safety. (217)

*Fun fact: Beesley's son Alec later married Dodie Smith, author of 101 Dalmatians and I Capture the Castle. (227)

Survivor letters from the Carpathia:
"Our ship struck an iceberg. I went on deck and met a sailor who asked me to help lower the boats. The sailor said, 'Take a chance yourself.' I did, as did my friend, but the officers came along and ordered us off the boat. A woman said, 'Lay down, lad, you're somebody's child.' She put a rug over me and the boat went out, so I was saved. I'll write you a note when I get to New York." -Daniel Buckley, 3rd class passenger ( )
  JennyArch | Nov 26, 2014 |
This wonderfully compiled book of first-hand accounts from people who were on the ship, photos and letters let me as a reader into the story of the Titanic better than ever before.

Throughout the text, personal narratives and primary documents like letters, telegraphs, etc are used to provide the reader with background knowledge and to forge a connection between readers and the people who suffered this terrible circumstance.

Little tidbits of information are also scattered across the book to provide explanations about the ship, how it functioned, where, why and how the problem came in, as well as why there weren’t enough lifeboats available to save everyone on the ship.

Every detail is organized chronologically in the book, giving an accurate and timely account of the events surrounding this disaster. Original photos accompany the story where appropriate, many of which were taken by a priest, whose story is perhaps the most intriguing.

A young man at the time, the priest was told by the church to get off the ship in Ireland. He could not afford to stay on but a wealthy couple said they would pay. Still, he was told to disembark. If he hadn’t he would have still been on the ship when it sank and possibly wouldn’t have survived.

Speaking of money, class difference has always been known to be a factor in the lives loss with the tragic sinking of the Titanic. We find out through our reading of this text that when the ship hit the iceberg, the people in first class knew nothing of what had happened. Second class passengers only felt a slight bump that the text says wasn’t even enough to make someone fall. But the lowest class passengers-- third class-- heard a noise and water quickly began rushing into their cabins.

The author of this book, however, is careful not to jeopardize credibility and remains objective, letting the accounts from former passengers and crew members tell the story. For example, for years researchers and commentators have discussed how issues of class played out on the ship, especially when doling out seats in the insufficient supply of lifeboats. But no opinion was offered by the author in regard to the more wealthy passengers’ privilege in escaping when disaster struck. Those who were interviewed were given the chance to give their own accounts.

There are about 50 pages of endnotes and appendices that offer facts about when the Titanic was found in 1985, and how much pieces of the ship and items from aboard the ship are worth. There are drawings from newspapers and tables and diagrams, as well as a list of further reading suggestions including websites.
  kljohns8 | May 4, 2014 |
Older elementary through junior high readers sometimes struggle to make the transition from non-fiction written for kids, and non-fiction written for adults. This is a good "bridging chapter book" for the older reader. This book reads almost like a graphic novel, with the amazing text features like pictures,"sidebars" written media and other artifacts of one of the most well known tragedies in history. Readers will find new stories, and will learn how to craft a dramatic, engaging non-fiction story.
  ekbrumley | Apr 30, 2014 |
4Q 4P
Deborah Hopkinson provides a unique approach to the common told story of the Titanic's sinking. Told from passengers' points of views, Hopkinson gave a very intimate account of the historical event. Filled with historical photographs, telegrams from the doomed ship, and letters from passengers, the book has numerous fascinating aspects that does not disappoint. ( )
  sushiroll | Apr 26, 2014 |
As any book about the Titanic goes, this one takes the reader on the ship's journey from her construction to the inevitable and perilous plunge of her demise. It is heartbreaking and engulfing as most books about the Titanic are, but it is also different from most other ones I have read. What makes this one different is that it is told through the eyes of several passengers and crew members who survived that fateful night. The points of view offered by this book come from first, second, and third class passengers of differing ages, ethnicities, and gender, as well as from crew members ranging from stewardesses and wireless operators such as Violet Jessop and Harold Bride, to the very owner of White Star Line J. Bruce Ismay. Some of the view points are from passengers who barely escaped death during the disaster. The details are horrifying and exact, painting a brilliant timeline of the ship's sinking. The book also tells of the aftermath of the sinking, how the passengers dealt with their losses, and how the world reacted to the event. There are brilliant photographs of the ship, provided by surviving passengers, and paintings giving a detailed portrayal of the events of April 14, 1912. Any quotes give credit to the speakers and photographs are cited and sourced as well. The end pages are pictures of the Titanic and of blown up CQD messages sent by the wireless operators. The book contains a ton of additional information: an epilogue, a glossary, people in the book, other famous Titanic figures, survivor letters from the Carpathia, a Titanic timeline, more research information to explore, Titanic facts and figures, the British Wreck Commissioner's final report, the Titanic lifeboat launching sequence, statistics on who lived and who died, a selected bibliography, source notes, photo credits, an index, acknowledgements, and information about the author. This is a fantastic book for history classrooms for outside reading and for quick references. It gives a multitude of great perspectives on the events of the Titanic's sinking, before, and after. Great book. ( )
  meblack19 | Apr 9, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Hopkinsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Altschuler, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bramhall, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545116740, Hardcover)

Critically acclaimed nonfiction author Deborah Hopkinson pieces together the story of the TITANIC and that fateful April night, drawing on the voices of survivors and archival photographs.

Scheduled to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the TITANIC, a topic that continues to haunt and thrill readers to this day, this book by critically acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson weaves together the voices and stories of real TITANIC survivors and witnesses to the disaster -- from the stewardess Violet Jessop to Captain Arthur Rostron of the CARPATHIA, who came to the rescue of the sinking ship. Packed with heartstopping action, devastating drama, fascinating historical details, loads of archival photographs on almost every page, and quotes from primary sources, this gripping story, which follows the TITANIC and its passengers from the ship's celebrated launch at Belfast to her cataclysmic icy end, is sure to thrill and move readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:48 -0400)

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Tells the tale of the sinking of the Titanic using the narratives of the witnesses and survivors of the disaster.

(summary from another edition)

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