Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Hindenburg

The Hindenburg

Marc Tyler Nobleman
For ages 9 to 11
Compass Point Books, 2006   ISBN: 978-0756512668

There was a time when people were sure that rigid airships or dirigibles would be the passenger airlines of the future. At that time airplanes could not carry heavy loads nor could they fly for long distances without having to stop to refuel. Dirigibles, on the other hand were able to travel right across the Atlantic ocean and inside the accommodations for the passengers were very comfortable indeed. Surely these massive machines were the way of the future.

Certainly that was what they seemed to be until a fateful day in May in 1937 when the largest and more luxurious of the dirigibles, the Hindenburg, burst into flames as it hung over a landing field in New Jersey. In just minutes the Hindenburg was a blazing inferno and passengers and crew were desperately trying to get onto the ground and away from the fire. Thirty-six people did not get away fast enough and many other people were injured during the tragedy. The site of the airship on fire was so dramatic and terrifying that large passenger airships no longer had a future.

This excellent account of the story of the Hindenburg not only describes what happened to the great airship in 1937 but it also helps the reader understand what it might have been like to live in the 1900?s. The Hindenburg was also a symbol of the might of the German government of the time and a very useful propaganda tool for the Nazi leadership that controlled Germany.

Throughout the book period photographs show, among other things, both the exterior and interior of the airship, and the Hindenburg in flight.