Monday, April 16, 2012

SPL Shelf Life [kids]

The Story of the Titanic, by Steve Noon and Marion Follon, 45 pages.
It was the length of at least twenty-two buses placed end to end. With a capacity of 73,923 tons, it was the heaviest ship afloat at the time. It was on its first ocean voyage, its construction having just been completed at Harland and Wolff, a Belfast shipyard (where, due to its immense size, special ramps had to be built to launch it). More than 11,300 people had worked on the construction of the immense ship. Because of its system of fifteen bulkheads dividing the ship into sixteen watertight compartments, and its double-bottomed hull, it was deemed by Harland and Wolff to be “virtually unsinkable”. With a swimming pool, gymnasium, libraries, restaurants and opulent fixtures, it was celebrated as the most luxurious ocean liner of its time. The Titanic was all of this, and more.
Yet on the night of April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg on the Atlantic Ocean.
1514 people perished in the horrific disaster. Only 710 people survived.
The Story of the Titanic describes the magnificent ship and invites young readers onboard, with large, colourful pictures and diagrams of the ship both inside and outside, and items and people to search for on the ship. A glossary and index are included in this visually pleasing book, which concludes with the liner’s sinking and the searches made later for the sunken ship (found in 1985 in an expedition led by Dr. Robert Ballard).
Young readers will definitely be intrigued.
** Recommended for ages 7 to 12 years.

Ghosts of the Titanic, by Julie Lawson, 191 pages.
“Where’s Michael? What have you done with my boy?”
“Where’s Michael? What has become of my precious boy?  Has his body been taken by the sea?  Does he walk on land, looking for me?”
Night after night, the piteous voice of a mysterious ghost awakens Kevin with the heart-breaking questions about a boy named Michael. But who was Michael? Where was he lost, and when?
Who is the ghost, and what terrible tragedy does it refer to?
Kevin, a seventh-grade student, has always been interested in the history of the Titanic but he has never envisioned traveling back in time to the watery grave of the ship – or meeting any of its ghostly inhabitants face to face.
Kevin’s story is skilfully blended with that of 17-year-old Angus, a young seaman who, in the days following the tragedy, is helping to dredge the bodies of Titanic victims out of the ocean.
Julie Lawson has written a tale that captivates and mesmerizes its readers. She is the author of a number of books which focus on various key historical events from across Canada, making our country’s history come to vivid life - such as The Klondike Cat, Destination Gold, The Ghost of Avalanche Mountain, and No Safe Harbour: The Halifax Explosion Diary of Charlotte Blackburn.
** Recommended for ages 10 to 13 years.

** On your next visit to the Stratford Public Library, be sure to view an intriguing display  featuring the Titanic, on the main floor.

These reviews appeared in The Stratford Gazette on April 12, 2012. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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