10 year-old George Calder and his 8 year-old sister Phoebe just spent the summer visiting their Aunt Daisy in England. Her husband had passed away the previous year, never fulfilling his dream of riding on the maiden voyage of the great Titanic. So, Daisy has asked her niece and nephew to ride back to New York with her on this majestic ship. They are ecstatic to be aboard this floating palace.
George has a knack for getting himself into trouble, though. He is already in trouble for sliding down the banister in the grand ballroom. His aunt has warned him to stay out of trouble. But he has heard about a mysterious Egyptain mummy being transported across the seas and really wants to find it. Doing so almost gets him into more trouble, but then the ship strikes the iceberg. Can George find his family and survive the sinking of the ship?
This book is a work of historical fiction. That means that the given facts about the Titanic are indeed accurate. The characters, though, are fictional, though based upon some real figures from the time. Enough detail is given through the story to make it a relatively believable account of what could have happened to a young boy aboard the Titanic. Accompanying the story are drawings that look accurate enough, according to photographs I have seen. The end of the book includes even more Titanic facts. Author Lauren Tarshis has worked hard to maintain historical integrity while crafting her fictional mystery.
I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 is an easy read, that should be appealing to children in elementary school. It would serve well as a read-aloud or for independent reading. I just wish my students were a little bit older so that they would better appreciate it. I think it is the kind of book that would encourage children to develop an interest in history and to research more information.
Apparently this is just one book in a series written by Lauren Tarshis. Her I Survived series places fictional children in the middle of some of history's greatest disasters. I look forward to reading others in the series.
It is available both for the Kindle and in paperback.