Friday, April 14, 2006


Today is the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The ship struck an iceberg at 11:40 PM on April 14, 1912 11:40 p.m. at 41° 46’ north latitude , 50° 14’ west longitude. It sank about three hours later.

When THE movie came out, it was my first year as a school librarian. The library had the Robert Ballard books and a picture book biography on Mollie Brown but that was about all. Over the course of that year I decided there would never be enough books on earth about that subject to meet the demand. It was a veritable frenzy each day as kids scoured the shelves for some reading on the subject. I have not seen any topic seize their collective imaginations in the same way since.

The publishers jumped on the bandwagon immediately. At my first TLA convention that year, Little Brown came out with Inside the Titanic : A Giant Cut-away Book. The book was on display at their booth. On the last day of the convention, the sellers put the books on super sale. I was near the Little Brown booth at the appointed hour and saw so many hands reaching for the book that it looked like basketball players going for a rebound. I don't know if it got down to hair-pulling and shin-kicking because I quickly retreated. Librarians are usually such refined creatures. I did understand the excitement and desperation those folks felt.

Luckily there are lots of books for us to read today.

The Magic Tree House kids visit there in Tonight on the Titanic and felt the frustration of knowing what was going to happen and try to prevent it.

Eve Bunting's novel, S.O.S. Titanic, mixes a touch of romance with well researched facts.

Barbara Williams's Titanic Crossing describes thirteen year old Albert's happiness and pride in having graduated from short pants to new long pants for the trip to New York on the Titanic. Those long pants prevent him from entering a lifeboat however in the final desparate hours of the ship's life as they denoted the passage to manhood and it was "women and children first."

882 1/2 Amazing Answers To Your Questions About The Titanic
by Hugh Brewster is a terrific book for fact browsing.


DK Eyewitness Books does their excellent take on the tragedy.

Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady

I'm not reader of Dear America books because they are so dreary but lots of girls read this one.

Exploring the Titanic by Robert D. Ballard

Ballard's account of his discovery of Titanic's resting place will be the reading favorite in school libraries for all time.


Becky said...

Great list, Camille (though I agree with you about the drearyness of the Dear America series...) -- I've linked to it over at my blog!

Jackie Parker said...

Don't forget "Ghosts I Have Been" by Richard Peck! That was one of my favorites when I was a kid. It really captured my imagination - and still does.

Anonymous said...

What a great list! Thanks, Camille. I'll be sure to mention it on my blog. I like the DK books, too.

Camille said...

Oh yes, I did forget Ghosts I have Been. I love the Blossom Culp books. That is a great suggestion because I don't know if those books get read very often anymore. I must remember to book talk them next time I sub (if the library has them.)