Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

On Board the Titanic

On Board the Titanic

Shelley Tanaka
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 12
Hyperion, 1998   ISBN: 978-0786813186

Jack Thayer was a little fed up of hearing everyone go on and on about the ship that he and his parents were going to travel to America on. He wondered if the Titanic could be so wonderful in real life. Once on board Jack soon realised that the Titanic was indeed an extraordinary vessel, almost like a floating palace or luxury hotel. The largest ocean liner in the world it had several restaurants, a pool, and an exercise room.

Harold Bride was one of the men who manned the radio in the wireless room. Telegrams could be sent and received by the Titanic twenty four hours a day and Harold and his partner were kept busy sending messages for the passengers. They also got weather and iceberg warnings from other ships. During the first days of travel they received several iceberg warnings but no one really took the threat seriously.

Told from the point of view of two young men, this extremely detailed and atmospheric book truly gives the reader a sense of what it was like to sail on the Titanic and what it felt like to witness the sinking of this great ship. We read about remarkable acts of self sacrifice and courage and we can appreciate that this event truly shook the world.

Not only are there many wonderful paintings to illustrate this book but there are also many cut away illustrations to show what the ship looked like inside, annotated period photographs, and diagrams which illustrate the events described in the text.