Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Iceberg, Right Ahead! The Tragedy of the Titanic

Iceberg, Right Ahead! The Tragedy of the Titanic

Stephanie Sammartino McPherson
For ages 12 and up
Lerner, 2012   ISBN: 978-0761367567

One hundred years ago, a group of men decided that the only way that the White Star Line shipping company could compete with its competitor, Cunard, was to build ships that were “incredibly large and luxurious.” The ships they had built were the Olympic, the Titanic, and the Gigantic.

When the Titanic was built, her design team were sure that the new designs they implemented made the ship safer than any ship sailing. The Titanic was outfitted with great attention to detail and expense; so much so that it was said that she was “like a palace.” The Titanic’s size and the awe that she inspired in those who saw her, made many people feel that she could weather any storm that she encountered with ease. No one imagined that an iceberg could be threat.

Unfortunately it was. On April 14, 1912, late in the evening, the Titanic struck an iceberg below the waterline, and soon water was pouring into the ship. Less than three hours later the Titanic sank, taking thousands of people with her. The lack of lifeboats, and the presence of gates that prevented the third class passengers from moving around the ship as needed, contributed greatly to the loss of life.

The story of the Titanic’s tragic maiden voyage has touched the hearts of people all over the world ever since that dreadful night. Because of what happened, new laws and policies were put into place to make sure that such a tragedy would never happen again.

When Robert Ballard found the wreck of the great ship in 1995, interest in the ship was renewed. A spectacular movie about the voyage was made, and many books were written. People began to argue about how the wreck should be treated. Should items from the wreck be brought to the surface, or should they remain on the bottom of the ocean?

In this beautifully written and carefully researched book, the author tells the story of the Titanic from its inception to its tragic end. She provides readers with stories told by some of the people who were there. From them, we find out what happened. We read about the bravery of many men and women who did all they could to help others during that terrible night. Some survived, and some did not.

This deeply moving account serves as a fitting tribute to a great ship and to the lives that were lost when she sank.