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The Watch That Ends the Night

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,212 Ratings  ·  501 Reviews
Arrogance and innocence, hubris and hope--twenty-four haunting voices of the Titanic tragedy, as well as the iceberg itself, are evoked in a stunning tour de force.

Millionaire John Jacob Astor hopes to bring home his pregnant teen bride with a minimum of media scandal. A beautiful Lebanese refugee, on her way to family in Florida, discovers the first stirrings of love. And
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Candlewick Press
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The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan WolfFateful by Claudia GrayPromise Me This by Cathy GohlkeBy the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia GoyerHearts That Survive by Yvonne Lehman
Titanic's 100th Anniversary
1st out of 74 books — 116 voters
A Night to Remember by Walter LordTitanic by Don LynchThe Night Lives On by Walter LordVoyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson WhiteThe Discovery of the Titanic by Robert D. Ballard
Best Titanic Books
7th out of 105 books — 124 voters

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Read this review and more on my blog

In a nutshell: A story of the Titanic and its passengers, told in multiple perspectives and free-verse. Beautiful, haunting and memorable. Definitely one of the highlights for me this year!

As soon as I discovered this book, I knew that I had to read it. I've always been interested in the Titanic, ever since I learned about it in school and saw the movie, and I've been searching for a book like this for years. I had such huge expectations for The Watch That End
Jan 25, 2012 Tim rated it it was ok
Novels in verse, done well, are rare.
And I can show you why…
This is not a poem simply because I say it is.
It is not a poem because I split
A sentence between several lines
.............Or finger the tab key
This is not a poem, no not a poem,
Because I repeat a phrase here and there.
This is not a poem because from time to time
I toss in a tired end rhyme
Or use funky punctuation—
To highlight a clause.
This is not a poem because I italicize special thoughts
Or with the clickety
Complete review at:

Told from 24 different perspectives in multiple genres such as verse, letters, undertaker's notes, telegrams, forms and booklets, this harrowing tale takes the reader through the journey that different people took on the Titanic. The points of view range from workers like lookouts and stokers, 3rd class passengers like an immigrant and refugee, 2nd class passengers like a tailor, 1st class passengers like a millionaire and socialite as
Edward Sullivan
So much has been written about the Titanic, it's hard to imagine an author finding a fresh perspective but Allan Wolf pulls it off and quite brilliantly. The voices of the captain, crew members, passengers from all three class, the shipboard rats, the embalmer searching for bodies floating among the wreckage, and even the iceberg are brought vividly to life in verse. Like his New Found Land, this is unique, engrossing historical fiction.
Aug 29, 2015 Margaret rated it it was amazing
o hi it's one of my favorite books ever

@caitlyn the cover art is jon klassen in case you needed another reason to love this book

also, can we talk about how the iceberg's poems get shorter and shorter as it melts because i did NOT pick up on that the first time through.

i just love this book a lot.

k bye
Anja Manning
Apr 14, 2013 Anja Manning rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I tried this audio book because it was listed on the Hub Reading Challenge 2013. Oh well.

I recently read Titanic:Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson,Titanic: Voices From the Disaster and this one just can't compete.

From the beginning I struggled listening to a malevolent female iceberg, who has watched human history since the cave men (really? all the way from the north pole? that's some vision) and set out on purpose to 'meet' the Titanic. Or talk about the 'voice' of the rat,
May 17, 2011 April rated it it was amazing
LOVE LOVE LOVE! Historical Fiction Novel in Verse is my favorite kind of book. Allan Wolf makes history come alive and uses words like a true craftsman. The end matter was an amazing cherry on top of this well written and amazingly well put together novel.
Dec 10, 2015 Allie rated it really liked it
The stories and different voices of the people were really interesting and I really enjoyed reading from the different points of views. I loved the way the book flowed from story to story. But as far as being in verse goes, I really wished it was a bit more poetic. An audio book would have been really interesting with this book and hearing the words spoken I feel would add a lot! I was a little skeptical at first when reading because the Titanic stories can be unoriginal sometimes, but this book ...more
Jubilation Lee
The Watch that Ends the Night was recommended to me at the same conference where I was told horrible falsehoods about the plot of Leverage. Our conference leader informed us it was a book of poems written by characters involved with the Titanic, including the Iceberg. And then she read us a passage.

I am the ice. I see tides ebb and flow.
I’ve watched civilizations come and go,
give birth, destroy, restore, be gone, begin.
My blink of an eye is humankind’s tortoise slow.
Today’s now is tomorrow’s way
Anthony Manna
Dec 13, 2012 Anthony Manna rated it it was amazing
Part historical fiction and part documentary, The Watch That Ends the Night tells the story of the RMS Titanic's celebrated maiden voyage on April 10, 1912, and its sudden tragic demise on April 15, when it collided at night with an iceberg. Told in mostly free verse poems through the voices of passengers, on-board rats, the iceberg, and, from the very beginning in a poignant flashforward, an undertaker on his way by boat to the scene of the sinking where he eventually faces the gruesome task of ...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Oct 05, 2011 Margo Tanenbaum rated it it was amazing
Shelves: immigrants, titanic
What else could be left to say about the Titanic, we could wonder. A quick WorldCat search for juvenile historical fiction about the Titanic turned up dozens of titles, including quite a few coming out in 2011. I must be one of the few people around, at least over the age of 30, who never saw the wildly popular 1997 movie, but I was curious to read this new teen novel by poet Allan Wolf about the 1912 disaster at sea. I am a huge fan of his 2004 novel, New Found Land: Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of ...more
Apr 18, 2013 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jamie Poorman

APA Citation: Wolf, A. (2011). The Watch that Ends the Night. [Audio recording]. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio.

Genre: Poetry

Format: Audiobook (9 discs, 10 hrs, 11 minutes)

Awards: 2012 Audie Award

Selection Process: Booklist starred review, Kirkus review

The story of the Titanic is one that has been told many times. In anticipation of the one-hundredth anniversary of it’s tragic sinking, many new works were released in 2011 and early 2012. It would seem almost impossible to bring
Apr 10, 2012 Erik rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely fantastic and quite unique. Wolf tells the story of the voyage and subsequent sinking of the TITANIC by way of poetry. Using a dozen or so different voices of real people who sailed on the ship, Wolf weaves together fiction and history to create an utterly compelling tale. Now, I've seen all the Titanic movies and read various other books on the subject - it's always been something that has fascinated me. So I wasn't expecting to feel anything new or different when readi ...more
Apr 06, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing
The Titanic story has certainly been told and told again over the 100 years since her sinking, but in this book, Allan Wolf has managed to capture the voices of the beings that were part of that story in a wholly new and captivating way. THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT is a novel-in-verse that chronicles the story of the unsinkable Titanic, from the boarding and preparations to set sail to the voyage, the sinking, and the Carpathia's rescue and delivery of the survivors to New York. The undertaker ...more
Dec 05, 2012 April rated it really liked it
There’s something about tragedy that is compelling. I mean, as humans many of us find it impossible to look away from trainwrecks. We are prone to rubbernecking. I’m not really sure why this is. There’s one tragedy above all others that grabs me every single time and that is the sinking of the Titanic. How much of it is influenced by the James Cameron film which was a surprisingly large part of my formative years, I don’t know. Regardless, I found myself very drawn to The Watch That Ends The Nig ...more
This book is amazing.
It is told from the point of view of two dozen people- including a ship rat, the ice berg and many others. It is told in poetry. Honestly, I usually don't like reading poetry, but this was amazing and so fun to read. I loved how Allan Wolf was able to make the terribly sad story of the Titanic end hopeful and bittersweet- amazing.
It also amazing that all the characters are *real*. They really did exist. Allan Wolf must have done an amazing amount of research.
The bits from
Oct 25, 2011 Maggie rated it really liked it
This will appeal to the Titanic lovers. I love this writer! Allan Wolf's novel about Lewis and Clark was similar in that many voices tell the story. This is a great one to use for point-of-view.

I did not get many students to read the Lewis and Clark novel, so I don't know how many will actually read this one - but for those who do, it has a lot to offer.

Maybe with the anniversary coming up - more will be interested.

GREAT notes section.
Aug 11, 2015 Kara rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, nautical

I’m taking 2 stars off an otherwise 5 star book for two reasons:

One - The overabundance of foreshadowing.

Two - The iceberg.

A little foreshadowing in a story about a well-known disaster is to be expected – especially those instances that were documented, such as people remarking on the bad luck of the ship almost hitting another one on her way out of the harbor.

But as seen here: no, in real life, people do not go around the day before the hurricane / volcano / fire / attack / etc. making ironic
Nov 27, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
I have always found the information surrounding the Titanic interesting and have read many books about it. This was told in many different perspectives from real life people who were on Titanic. There are some obscure perspectives such as the rat and the iceberg. Much of the book was about the days leading up to the sinking. The actual part about the sinking was not very long and I was hoping for more scenes during that part. The authors notes at the end of the book were really informative as we ...more
May 08, 2015 Jacalyn rated it it was amazing
This book is just plain cool! Written in free verse from the viewpoint of a series of passengers on the doomed voyage aboard the Titanic. Reading this, you hear the perished voices from a rat aboard the ship, passengers in different classes, the Captain and even the Iceberg that was struck by the ship. Allen Wolf imaginatively captures their thoughts and actions throughout the tragedy. This book would be awesome to teach as an English lesson and can be combined with a history lesson as students ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Deb rated it it was amazing
First off, I listened to the audio book version of The Watch That Ends the Night. What a wonderful way to experience Allan Wolf's historical fiction written in verse. Performers Michael Page, Phil Gigante, Christopher Lane, Laural Merlington, and Angela Dawe provided the voices and gave life to the various Titanic passengers and staff, the undertaker who was in charge of processing the bodies, also a rat and the iceberg. There are few audio books that I would bother to listen to more than once, ...more
Jul 27, 2014 Andie rated it it was amazing
This book was beautiful in the most tragic way. The seriousness of it didn't really hit me until I read the author's note at the end of the book. There Allan Wolf listed all of the facts about the characters in the book, information on the death toll, the contents of the ship, and much much more. As I looked over the comparison between the number of first class passengers who lived and the number of third class passengers who died I felt sickened by the better treatment of the people who had mor ...more
follow the food

In April 1912, the largest and most luxurious ship in the world set sail from Southampton, England, 5 days later it and 1500 of its passengers were at the bottom of the ocean. Allan Wolf recreates the lives of 20 of the Titanic passengers, their hopes and their dreams, in verse.

I'm usually not a big fan of novels in verse, but I love Titanic novels so I gave this a chance. I think what really made it for me was the audiobook and how it was narrated by multiple narrators. The au
Jan 10, 2012 Gayle rated it it was amazing
April this year is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Hundreds of books, stories, and movies have been dedicated over the years to the event, but Mr. MacLennan takes a different approach. The Watch That Ends the Night is a compilation of facts and fiction written in verse, which I don’t usually read but that I enjoyed immensely. The pieces are first-person accounts leading up to and including the actual tragedy itself.

In the beginning, I read faster and faster because I wa
Apr 15, 2012 Jessi rated it it was amazing
Cover Notes:

Illustration/Jacket Design by: Jon Klassen
Check out his work!

I love this cover.
The illustration emotes so freely. I knew from the get-go the ending, hard not to considering the rather iconic Titanic staring me in the face, but there is so much more to life than the end and I think you catch a glimpse of that with this cover. The tilt of the ship, for me, speaks of the warmth and humor that was encountered throughout the pages. The back, which features a stark iceberg, has no tilt. I
Why I picked it up: YALSA Challenge list and it helps me with my geography challenge, so two birds, one book.

Chronicles the journeys of many of the passengers on the Titanic, with passengers from all three classes as well as many different types of crewman included.

Parts were really hard to listen to. I’m not sure how it would have been to have read it instead. The author is a poet and that comes across in some of the entries, so I’m a little interested in how it displays on the page. The iceber
Jul 26, 2012 Allie rated it really liked it
This book was amazing. It's not a story, but it is. Reading about the Titanic of course there are certain things one comes to expect. The journey will be fantastic when it starts, the passengers will be in the lap of luxury, and the ship WILL sink. This book takes everything you would expect and creates accounts of life on the Titanic. Some characters are real people, others are real, but not people. Instead of writing a story about the Titanic though, Allan Wolf went much, much farther. He took ...more
Alyssa Calhoun
Nov 25, 2012 Alyssa Calhoun rated it it was amazing
First, you should know two things: I love poetry and I am obsessed with Titanic. Which pretty much set me up to declare to you that this was one of my favorite books ever. I can't believe I've had it for several months and haven't read it (I lent it to some children first).

Truly, I can't get over how awesome this book was.

It's amazing to me when an author can take a story that we already know the end to and make it riveting. (No pun intended.) The voices that the author uses throughout the boo
Sylvia Shults
Jan 19, 2012 Sylvia Shults rated it it was amazing
Allan Wolf's novel The Watch That Ends The Night is an amazing piece of work. I've been a Titanic wonk for years, ever since learning about it in grade school. It's such a powerful, poignant story, and in Wolf's hands it takes on new life. Wolf tells the story in verse, encompassing the thoughts and feelings of twenty-four characters, including the iceberg and a rat aboard ship. I've been reading about Titanic for decades, but this is the first time I got a sense of the stories across ALL the cl ...more
Lexi M
May 09, 2013 Lexi M rated it it was amazing
The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf is a group of poems describing the thoughts and feelings and experiences that people on the Titanic had when the ship began its journey and ended its journey in a devasting crash. What I liked about this book was that first off, it was all poems. Even though it could have gotten boring, it didn't because these poems told a story. I also liked that each poem was from a different voice and described there perspective and experien ...more
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Allan Wolf: educator-writer-musician extraordinaire. He has literally hundreds of poems committed to memory. He is a veteran traveler through all the diverse worlds of poetry--from poetry slams to public schools, salons to saloons. He turns classic poetry into acoustic tunes as the drummer for The Dead Poets band. He put the Oh! in poetry as the educational director for national touring company Po ...more
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