When the "Titanic" hits an iceberg during his voyage to America, young Albert is faced with grown-up decisions about life and death, in this "entertaining blend of fact and fiction" ("School Library Journal") concerning one of the most dramatic tragedies in history.
"Gr. 4-8. Under pressure from his Grandmother Trask in Virginia, 13-year-old Albert Trask and his family are returning to the U.S. on the Titanic. Because his recently widowed mother is preoccupied with escaping her mother-in-law's control, and his younger sister, Ginny, is busy acting out to gain her mother's attention, Albert is free to explore the colossal ship and observe its passengers. He learns much during his four-day journey, and when the ship begins to sink (and Mother cannot be located), Albert must help Ginny and himself aboard a lifeboat. Williams includes several real passengers among her mostly fictitious characters and carefully distinguishes between the two in her afterword. The use of specific dates and times for chapter headings adds to the narrative's authentic flavor. Although Albert's mother and uncle seem one-dimensional (ensuring that few readers will mourn their demise), this is a fast-paced adventure that will appeal to history buffs as well as fans of Ballard's Exploring the Titanic (1988). (Reviewed May 15, 1995)0803717903Kay Weisman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"The sinking of the Titanic in April 1912 provides the emotional peak of this fact-based novel. Albert Trask, 13, is thrilled to be leaving England with his widowed mother, uncle and six-year-old sister. He's had enough of private tutoring and rainy weather, and can't wait to return to the family home outside Washington, D.C. But as the journey begins, Albert overhears a passenger suggest that the vessel isn't carrying enough lifeboats-a suspicion he confirms in conversation with a crewman. Williams (Mitzi and the Terrible Tyrannosaurus Rex) devotes relatively little space to the actual calamity, however, and the lengthy prelude grows tedious. The author's postscript mentions that Albert was created from a boy she discovered in her research, a 13-year-old initially prevented from boarding a lifeboat because he had attained the age of manhood. No passage in the novel itself, unfortunately, evokes the catastrophe with as much poignancy. Ages 9-13. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved