Titanic: An Edwardian Girl's Diary 1912 by Ellen Emerson White

From TheBookbag
Jump to: navigation, search


Titanic: An Edwardian Girl's Diary 1912 by Ellen Emerson White

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A lightly-fictionalised look at the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic. It's neatly done and a good read for Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 176 Date: April 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-1407131412

Share on: Delicious Digg Facebook Reddit Stumbleupon Follow us on Twitter



Margaret Anne Brady had been at the orphanage for several years when one of the Sisters told her that she'd been asked to accompany a lady who was crossing the Atlantic. This was a dream come true for Margaret as he only relative - her brother William - lived in Boston and he'd been trying to save up her fare so that she could join him in the USA. Mrs Carstairs is wealthy and she and Margaret will be travelling First Class - on the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic. All Margaret's dreams seemed to be coming true at once.

It's a clever device to use an intelligent girl from an orphanage as the narrator. Recording what happens in her diary she neatly points up the luxury of Claridge's Hotel and the expense of being fitted with 'suitable' clothes for the crossing, whilst the children at the orphanage wore cast-offs. There's no self-pity about Margaret - she's too excited about getting to see her brother again - and no envy either. It's simply very astute observation. Once she's on The Titanic the descriptions become very vivid, particularly with the contrasts between First Class and steerage and even - as tragedy unfolds - between women and children - and their menfolk, or passengers and the crew.

I cried when Titanic sank. Margaret's descriptions are factual but brought the situation home to me as other books have not. There's nothing gratuitous in the telling but somehow the few words from the authentic voice of a child in her early teens tugged most sharply at the heart strings. Margaret is a fictional character and the telling is lightly fictionalised so far as her part is concerned, but is otherwise a factual account of what happened on that terrible night. It makes excellent background reading: the young reader is gong to absorb a lot of facts whilst being absorbed by a good story. It's learning with a light touch.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For more stories of how people coped in perilous situations you might like to look at Deadly Peril and How To Avoid It by Tracey Turner.

Buy Titanic: An Edwardian Girl's Diary 1912 by Ellen Emerson White at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Titanic: An Edwardian Girl's Diary 1912 by Ellen Emerson White at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Titanic: An Edwardian Girl's Diary 1912 by Ellen Emerson White at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Titanic: An Edwardian Girl's Diary 1912 by Ellen Emerson White at Amazon.com.


Comments

Like to comment on this review?

Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.