Release date: 29th March 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction
Target audience: 7+
UK Publisher: AC and Black
Titanic: Death on the Water is a fictional retelling of events on board the Titanic.
There is something about the tragedy of the Titanic which fascinates my students and with the anniversary of the sinking just a few months away, I know there will be many requests for stories about it so I was delighted when I received this book for review.
Titanic: Death on the Water is the story of the 1912 disaster but it is more importantly the story of Billy. He is fourteen and at the beginning of the story is attending the funeral of his father who died working in the Belfast shipyard. Billy doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps. He is afraid of the shipyard and the authors create a tangible sense of the dangers of working in such an environment. After his father’s death, Billy takes his chance to build a different life for himself and secures himself a job as a bellboy aboard the Titanic.
Billy’s journey sees him encounter many people on board the ship – some who warm to his charm and some who see him as a rival. The authors created an endearing character in Billy – he is brave and down to earth. There is a light touch of Irish expression to his dialogue which adds to his cheerful, chipper character.
The story is fast paced and the chapters are short. I only wish there were a few illustrations to compliment the wonderful writing and aid the reading of this book for emerging readers. There are well-chosen details about the ship bringing it to life without slowing the action.
Titanic: Death on the Water is the story of the sinking of the Titanic. It is a tale of courage in the face of adversity and the bravery of ordinary people. Highly accessible, this book will be enjoyed by younger readers in the school library.
Source: Sent for review by Bloomsbury Books.