VOICES OF THE TITANIC
A Titanic Book for Kids
By: Mary Montero
Published: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Most of us have been intrigued by the stories of the Titanic and its sinking ever since the ship was discovered in 1985 and then once the movie was made in 1997. Our children may not have as much information about the history of the ship, the people who perished, and those who survived. The last living survivor died in 2009. This book, written for middle-grade readers, makes sure the stories from the Titanic are still shared so that we never forget.
The Titanic was the second of three ships that were part of the White Star line. Unfortunately, all three of the ships sunk, but the Titanic was the most tragic with over 1,500 passengers perishing on the ship. The majority of those who died were third-class passengers. This book shares stories from the crew, third-class passengers, first-class passengers, and even the story of the Captain of the ship.
The book opens with a background of the building of the ship and its maiden voyage. There are stories of passengers who chose not to take the ship including one due to an omen after seeing a mother cat remove all her kittens during one of the stops. Information about the other two ships, the Olympic and the Britannic was also shared.
One of the most fascinating stories for me was that of Violet Constance Jessop. She was a member of the crew and served as a maid/housekeeper to the first-class passengers on the ship. She had also been on the Olympic when it crashed and then again survived the sinking of the Britannic during WWI as a nurse when it crashed. She wrote many memoirs of her time on the three ships and was dubbed “Miss Unsinkable”.
If you’ve seen the movie “The Titanic” then you might remember the band that played on the deck while passengers were rushing to board the lifeboats. That was a true part of the story. Montero wrote about Wallace Henry Hartley, a violinist that played for first-class passengers. During the sinking, the group of musicians chose to play joyous songs to lift the hearts of those who were frantic on the ship. They played on and went down with the ship. Hartley’s body was found ten days later with his violin and case strapped to his body. The violin was auctioned off for $1.6 million in 2006.
These and so many other fascinating stories are shared including the Chief Baker, the youngest passenger, and the wealthiest passenger. There is also a glossary at the end of the book that includes all the ship-terms that kids might not know. There are photographs of the people and parts of the ship as well to keep the kids interested.
Mary Montero is a teacher and an avid Titanic enthusiast, and the teacherpreneur behind Teaching with a Mountain View. After becoming captivated by the story of the Titanic at the age of eight, she made it her mission to pass on the tale to her own students. She created an experience-based class centered solely around the Titanic.
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