We have all heard of the story, perhaps even seen the movie, of the ship that hit the iceberg and sank to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. But there was another ship there that night, one that was no where near as big or as famous but one whose story is as equally as important as that of the Titanic.
April 1912 and two very different ships were setting sail on journeys across the Atlantic Ocean. One was the Titanic, a marvellous feat of engineering departing Southampton on its maiden voyage to New York. The other was Carpathia, a much smaller and quite unremarkable ship heading from New York to the Mediterranean. When the Carpathia received a distress call from the Titanic on the fateful night of April 14th it changed its course and embarked on a rescue mission to save lives…
Rescuing Titanic is the remarkable story of how the crew aboard an unspectacular and little-known ship deviated from their planned journey and undertook an incredible rescue mission to save over seven-hundred passengers and crew from the sinking Titanic. Offering a different perspective about the sinking of the unsinkable ship, this is a fabulous book about the ‘other boat’ that night. It is a story of brave heroes, selfless acts and a steely determination to help fellow men and women when all the odds were stacked against.
This is a treasure trove of information with the parallel stories of the Titanic and Carpathia exquisitely retold through a mixture of dual-narrative and explanations. Rich in detail and with breathtaking illustrations, readers are immersed into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic as the brave and heroic crew of the Carpathia risk everything, navigating treacherous ice fields in the darkness of night to reach the stricken super-liner. Author Flora Delargy’s approach is simple and straight forward, retelling the facts exactly as they were and it makes for a riveting read for both a younger audience and still being interesting enough and with a depth of information and insight to appeal to adults.
Before the two stories of the ships become intwined, information is presented on nautical life in the early twentieth century; the construction of the ships, crew members and passengers, navigation devices and communication methods all give readers a real sense of both vessels. As tragedy strikes, suspense, drama, panic and tension fill the pages as the Carpathia charges through the ocean in a race-against-time rescue mission. Adding to this sense of urgency, analogue clocks appear in each corner, painstakingly providing a minute-by-minute account of the action and the speed at which the drama unfolded.
In what was a tragic event, Delargy shines a beacon of hope amongst the heartbreak and hopelessness and offers a fitting tribute to Captain Rostron and his crew of brave souls aboard the Carpathia. A superb debut from an upcoming author/illustrator whose books I will continue to look out for in the future. Non-fiction perfection!
Recommended for 9+.