Tragedy at Sea: The Sinking of the Titanic; David Long, illustrated by Stefano Tambellini
I love a good historical read and before I began reading this I had high expectations that David Long - whose previous books I have loved - would deliver another superb read, I am pleased to say he did not disappoint.
10th April 1912. And after five years of planning and construction, Titanic - the biggest and most luxurious cruise liner in the world - was ready to set sail across the Atlantic Ocean from Southampton, England to New York, USA. Little did anyone know at the time that the journey would never be completed and Titanic would be remembered not as a triumph but as a terrible, terrible tragedy…
In this gripping account, David Long tells the tragic story of the Titanic from its birth to its demise. Beginning with a double page labelled illustration that introduces key terminology and components of the ship, readers are immediately immersed into the nautical world and the story of Titanic. From here, Long succinctly takes readers through various stages of the process that saw Titanic go from an idea to a reality to a tragedy.
After explaining the competitive battle to be the fastest to sail across the Atlantic and how this led to the vision of a man who looked beyond speed and wanted to create something altogether ‘different’, Long moves onto what it took to create such a beast of a ship - construction, safety features, adaptations to the building dock and the workers are all featured. Many readers will want to know what it was like on the ship and Long provides all sorts of fantastic insights as he describes the activities on board, the various services available, the different classes of accommodation, right down to the various fixtures and fittings. A labelled cross section shows the layout of the ship.
The disaster that unfolds is clearly explained without drama or over the top emotion. It is matter-of-fact and tells it how it was, identifying the mistakes that were made both on land and at sea. Although tragic, there were positives that arose from the disaster and Long explains how changes were made for the improved safety of all ships.
It is a brilliant read that holds all sorts of facts, information and details within its ninety-six pages. Whether it be learning about the incredible number of rivets used to build the ship or about the difference in ticket prices for the different classes of accommodation or the disaster that nearly unfolded only seconds into the journey, everything is fascinating. There was so much that I did not know myself and I know that after reading it children will be wanting to share what they have learnt with friends, parents and teachers. Stefano Tambellini’s superb labelled diagrams, maps and black and white illustrations are insightful and add to the reading experience as well as supporting understanding.
True to Barrington Stoke form, this read is printed in dyslexia friendly font and on tinted paper ensuring the book can be accessed by every child. Huge thanks to the lovely peeps at Barrington Stoke for this excellent book.
Recommended for 8+.
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