268: Deadly Voyage: RMS Titanic by Hugh Brewster

Deadly Voyage: RMS Titanic, Jamie Laidlaw, Crossing the Atlantic, 1912 by Hugh Brewster (Canada) only
I Am Canada, 1912

Pages: 195
Ages: 9+
Finished: Dec. 11, 2011
First Published: Sept. 1, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Canada
Genre: children, historical fiction, Canadian Author
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:
Waterloo Station, London, April 10, 1912, 9:30 a.m.
"Jamie, do hurry on," my father called out over the noise of the station.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Reason for Reading:  I love this series and I am a huge Titanic buff.

The book begins with a prologue; it is now 1987 and Jamie has been informed that he is the last Canadian survivor alive of the Titanic disaster.  He's been asked to come to various engagements but at his age and health he is not able to travel much and instead he is encouraged to write down his memories of the sinking.  Feeling the time is now right to delve into the past that he has not talked about much he sets down his story on paper.  Hence the book.

Not quite in the same format as the first "I Am Canada" book or the "Dear Canada" books.  Brewster's version is written in chapters though each chapter is marked with a date and time as if in a journal style, though we know these are an old man's memories, they read as if the boy himself is talking in the present tense.  A very vivid and exciting story of the Titanic which starts off with the boarding of the ship, some brief background of the ship from what the passengers know and a good section is spent on the days before the crash letting us know what life was like aboard the "floating hotel".
The story is told without sensationalism and tells the real story, debunking the myths that  have always surrounded the sinking.  The main character, 14 year old Jamie, explores the ship, makes a few friends, and we see the difference between 1st class and 3rd class.  The causes of the crash are discussed and the "if onlys".  Jamie is a fictional character, as are his interactions with the others, but all other characters are actual people and their actions are true to history with the fabrication of Jamie inserted into them.  A fast and entertaining read, with a real sense of an author who has done the research and knows his topic.  While this series is aimed at boys, girls with interest in the topic are sure to enjoy as well. 

I enjoyed Brewster's writing style and had not read him before, my next book up is also written by him and I see he has an interesting backlist so I will certainly be looking into more works by this author.


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