From Building the Great Ship to the Search for Its Watery Grave
written by Terri Dougherty, Sean Price, Sean McCollum
162 pages, non-fiction (ages 10 & up)
published in 2015
To start this review off -- I've read a lot of books about the RMS Titanic (as readers of my blog already know) and I have personally learned much about its history. So going into this particular book, I wasn't exactly sure how "Eyewitness to Titanic" could be much different, but I have to say... it is UNIQUE in its own way, and I truly enjoyed it.
Here's the deal: This books offers tidbits of information on everything there is to know about the ill-fated ship, RMS Titanic. How does this differ from other non-fiction Titanic titles on the market? Most other books may center on only one of the topics touched in "Eyewitness". For example, one book may focus only on the history behind the ship, while another book may tell about the passengers' lives, the crew, or Dr. Ballard's discovery of the shipwreck. (I know this, because I've personally read all those individual types of books.) But instead of reading 4+ different books to get the overall facts about Titanic... READ THIS ONE FIRST. It's an excellent starting place, and it makes for light reading material. Or try it out even if you are already familiar with the Titanic, because it might bring out a few impressive points you hadn't heard of yet -- as it did for me!
"Eyewitness to Titanic" is perfect for both children and adults. It covers the most basic information you need to know, and serves it to you in an easy-to-read manner. You won't drown in a sea of words in this book (AKA, plenty of pictures and visual content). After reading it, (if you have an inquisitive mind like my own!) you'll want to graduate into the bigger, in-depth books to find out the details behind your favorite part of the story. Perhaps you'll be more drawn to the building process, the iceberg, the aftermath of the tragedy, or the hunt for the wreck decades later. Regardless, it's all in there, ready for you to explore.
What I love: All 162 pages feature good information and fascinating facts. There are dozens of photos and illustrations to really set the scene and help the reader dive into the Titanic and her history. In addition, there are plenty of charts, lists, short quotes, quick facts and other types of content to keep one interested. Not only will you learn about the history of the ship, the architecture, and building process, you'll also have a chance to meet passengers aboard the ship and come in contact with the personal side of the disaster too.
Keep in mind, April is always an excellent month to read a book on the Titanic to commemorate the anniversary, since the tragedy happened on April 14-15. 2015 marks the 103rd anniversary since the fatal disaster.
The bottom-line: This is the perfect starter guide for a person with an interest in learning about The Unsinkable Ship, or as a refresher course for someone who already has been studying the Titanic. Since the book is packed with so many morsels of history, it's worth an occasional perusal after the initial reading too.
Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone Young Readers for the free ebook.
P.S. See this review on Goodreads and Amazon.