These two books seemed like appropriate books to review for today.
(The Titanic sank on April 15th, 1912… so I am a day late with this. Oh well. XD)
Review: Travelers Through Time #1: Back To The Titanic!
Written by Beatrice Gormley
Matt is a twelve year old who has the opportunity to travel back to the Titanic with his spunky sister, Emily, and best friend, Jonathan, who is a bit of a science geek. They use their great-grandfather’s homemade time machine to go back to the Titanic (which their great-grandfather was on when he was a kid), to try to save the ship. Can they do it? And can they figure out how to get back to their time before its too late?
The beginning hit home a bit for me. Their great-grandfather has dementia; I had two grandparents who dealt with this. It’s hard to watch, so I felt for the kids. But then they were so fascinated by the TASC (Time and Space Connector) by chapter two that this was soon forgotten in the adventure. X)
They covered many of the “what ifs” when it comes to ways the ship may have been saved. (No spoilers as to if any worked!) It was really fun to read. It was only 132 pages, so I read through it pretty fast. Also, I read it once when I was a kid – so this was partially me seeing if I was still as fond of it now as I was then. Apparently I was. 😄
Voyage on the Great Titanic – The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady (From the Dear America series)
Written by Ellen Emerson White
Like the other books in this series, this book is in one person’s point of view (in this case, Margaret’s) and is told in flashbacks in diary format. I loved this so much. (I fell in love with this series when I read So Far From Home – The Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill girl. This series is great for anyone who loves history and // or likes books written like a diary.)
Margaret lives in an orphanage called St. Abernathy’s Orphanage for Girls in Whitechapel. When Sister Catherine takes Margaret to the City, Margaret finds out that she has the opportunity to go on the Titanic to America where her brother is, which is what she has wanted since he left her at the orphanage after their parents died. She is replacing Mrs. Carstairs’ husband as a passenger, since he can’t go because of business, which leaves the rich lady an extra ticket. Florence, Mrs. Carstairs’ dog, also accompanies them.
Margaret also has quite a bit of backstory, which I loved reading about. It made her character feel more real like we really get to know her.
She also describes everything in depth, so picturing the Titanic was much more vivid in this book than in Back To The Titanic. If I had to pick between Voyage on the Great Titanic, and the Back to the Titanic, I’d pick Voyage on the Great Titanic. Both were great, but I just felt like I connected with this one more. I had a hard time putting it down.
I realize not everyone shares my interest in this historic disaster, but there is one aspect of it I’d like to touch upon. I saw a church sign years ago: “Men built the Titanic. God built the ark. Which one sank?” God had Noah build the ark, and did it sink? No. It stayed afloat for 40 days and 40 nights (and many months after the rains stopped). Noah had faith in God, not in himself.
In the back of Voyage on the Great Titanic, it has a timeline of events, and it amazes me how many things could have been prevented. People thought that the Titanic was unsinkable – they had such faith in their own works and were quite boastful and overconfident in themselves and the ship’s abilities – that they ignored the many warnings that could have possibly saved the great ship. (The book also says that the overworked telegraph operator even responded to one of the ships sending ice warnings, telling them to “shut up”.) In addition, they were so confident that the ship would not sink, that they didn’t install nearly enough lifeboats to even attempt to save all of the passengers who were on board. Proverbs 13:10: Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. The story of the R. M. S. Titanic is so sad. If only the people had not been so arrogant, maybe the Titanic could have been saved. But I guess we will never know.