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Titanic: Voices From the Disaster

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,770 ratings  ·  344 reviews
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster is a 2013 Sibert Honor book and a 2013 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist.

Critically acclaimed nonfiction author Deborah Hopkinson pieces together the story of the TITANIC and that fateful April night, drawing on the voices of survivors and archival photographs.

Scheduled to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the tragic...more
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
37th out of 116 books — 1,106 voters
Fateful by Claudia GrayDistant Waves by Suzanne WeynTitanic by Deborah HopkinsonA Night to Remember by Walter LordThe Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf
YA Titanic Novels
3rd out of 13 books — 48 voters

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Community Reviews

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Kelly H. (Maybedog)
This is an excellent resource for young adults to learn about the sinking of the Titanic. It is very complete while being succinct. The text covers the entire voyage from the day it left dry dock, through the short journey up the coast to when it set off across the Atlantic, the disaster and the aftermath, including impact on the world immediately after that and finally a little about the discovery of the wreck. I found just the right amount of information, not too much, not too little. The coup...more
Barb Middleton
I grew up in the Land of 10,000 Frozen Lakes. In Minnesota, it oozes cold. I thought I KNEW cold. But I found out I didn't when I decided to jump off a sailboat into Lake Superior. Whooee, I was so unprepared for air whooshing out of my lungs when I hit the water. Imagine a big block of ice being dropped onto your chest. The water temperature was in the 50's and my teeth were chattering and blue within a short amount of time. Thank goodness I had a life jacket on. The coldness was paralyzing. Th...more
Liza Wiemer
This is an outstanding non-fiction book filled with first-person accounts and records from the sinking of the Titanic. It follows a number of people including first, second, and third class individuals and staff through a chronological order of events. Some of those people are young adults and it's refreshing to hear their point-of-view. The book has numerous documents including a menu, photos, launch information, letters, facts and figures, and information on the Carpathia, the ship that came t...more
• Fiction Text- Titanicat (2008) Crisp-Papp
• Titanicat takes on a different perspective that many of the stories of the titanic don’t take on. This story gives the perspectives of a survivor of the Titanic. This survivor actually never even set sail on the Titanic on its finally voyage. A cat prevented him from staying aboard and ultimately saved his life from preventing him. It pairs nicely with the non-fiction pick of Titanic: Voices from the Disaster because this book gives the experience of...more
Read the full reivew and exclusive author guest post at

I have always been interested by the dramatic story of the sinking of the Titanic. And as a history buff,this book appealed to me on so many levels. I love that Deborah Hopkinson used real photos of the ship and it's passengers as well as first hand accounts. The narrative came alive for me in a way that it never has before thanks to a visually and historically rich account of that fateful night. Ther...more
Books about the Titanic, whether fiction or non-fiction, invariably follow the same course, that is chronological, from describing the grandeur of the ship, through to what it was like to stay on it, down the it's last minutes. And inevitably, the same thing always happens to me when I read such books; I get sucked up into how fantastic the ship was that I almost forget what happens in the end. The same ending always comes and I'm left heartbroken.

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, is a middle-g...more
“Don’t you know what happens in the end?” My husband could not understand why I wanted to leave the dinner table early to finish this book. Yes, of course, I know the ending, but Hopkinson’s writing had me in its grip – one of the reasons this book was awarded a Sibert Honor Award for Nonfiction 2012. I hesitated in reading this book because I thought it would be primarily biographical and narrative in nature. Turns out – this is very much a blended text with a great deal of non-narrative inform...more
Rachael Stein
I don't have any particular interest in the Titanic disaster, but I found this book riveting. It reminds me of last year's Amelia Lost, in that you know perfectly well how it's going to end, but you're still on the edge of your seat. I really, really wanted them to find more lifeboats, you know?

Hopkinson achieves this effect through her masterful use of primary sources. As the title indicates, much of the text consists of eyewitness accounts from aboard the ill-fated ship. The structure is mainl...more
Marjorie Ingall
A suspense-crammed nail-biter. You forget YOU KNOW HOW THIS ENDS. It's obvious why this story has had so much resonance over the years -- the hubris of calling a ship unsinkable, the fabulousness of some of the passengers compared to the working-guyness of others, the acts of heroism and cowardice in the middle of the night in the freezing cold water. As a feat of reporting, synthesis and editing (it rat-a-tats back and forth between different characters) it's just spectacular. It reminds me of...more
Clara M.
Hopkinson wrote this book to give the reader a firsthand experience of what happened from the point of view of nine survivors. The story of the Titanic has been told many times and many ways, but she wanted the reader to actually feel what it was like to know there is a possibility that you are in your last hour. Hopkinson used interviews from some survivors, a stewardess, a little boy, a teacher, a rich man, a seaman, a senior in high school, and a mother. Although Deborah is telling the story...more
L13F_Jana Wilkening
I have always been intrigued by the story of the Titanic. I had heard about this book during a book talk and was so excited to read it for this week. It did not disappoint. This book is an amazing read!

The author combines background information and historical facts and details with real stories and voices of Titanic survivors, as well as those who witnessed the sinking. The book follows the sinking chronologically and weaves in eye-witness accounts, factual blurbs, and primary source documents...more
I have a confession to make...the story of the Titanic never was one that fascinated me. Of course, I know the major details of the story and learned about it in history classes but I am a huge history nerd (one of my majors in college) and there were always other aspects of history that captured my attention more. Also, I am NOT a fan of the movie starring Leo and Kate and besides Mythbusters proved they both could have fit on the door (, just saying!

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
Name: Danielle Autumn Shur
Hopkinson, D. (2012). Titanic: Voices from the Disaster. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
Genre: Informational
Award: YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award
Format: Print Book
Selection Process: YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award list
Say the word ‘Titanic’ and most everyone will know what you are referring to. Just over 100 years ago, the most famous maritime disasters occurred. Books have been writte...more
Name: Kim Deniker

APA Citation: Hopkinson, D. (2012). "Titanic: Voices from the disaster". New York: Scholastic, Inc.

Genre: Historical Fiction and YALSA Choice

The awards received include Booklist, 12/01/2011; Publisher’s Weekly, 2/20/2012; Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, 4/1/2012; Horn Book, 11/1/2012 and 3/1/2012; School Library Journal, 2/1/2012; Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), 4/1/2012; Kirkus Reviews starred 1/1/2012; Wilson's Children, 10/1/12; Library Media Connection, 5/1/20...more
Sarah Gruwell
Book was a copy received via GoodReads for a review. Thanks!

This is a superb book to introduce young readers to all aspects of the Titanic disaster. It's written in a very readable style, introducing late elementary school and middle school children to the individuals in the disaster in a way that brings them to life.

And yet this book has a ton of information from the sequence of events that happened to mini biographies on the parties involved to data tables with disaster statistics and timetab...more
Listening to this in my car during the recent Polar Vortex weather certainly helped set the mood for this harrowing account of the Titanic sinking. Very well researched and written. The audiobook features several narrators who read survivor letters and accounts of that fateful night when just about everything that could go wrong, did. I can understand why people are fascinated by this piece of history.
Gema Ramirez
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson.
Genre: Non-Fiction
Published: 2010
Audience: Intermediate

Bloom's Taxonomy Questions

Remembering: When did the Titanic sink? Looking at the map on page 3, where did the Titanic sink? Who came to the rescue of the sinking ship?

Explain why the watertight doors didn’t work when the ship was sinking? Explain why there were not enough lifeboats on board? Describe why was the Titanic so popular and important to people? Retell how the sh...more
Katie Schwartz
Bloom’s Taxonomy

1.Remembering: From where did the Titanic first depart?

2.Understanding: Summarize the story from the point of view from one of the following passengers of the Titanic: Frankie Goldsmith, Violet Jessop, Archibald Gracie, or Charlotte Collyer.

3.Applying: What questions would you ask if you could meet the captain of the Titanic, Edward John Smith?

4.Analyzing: What part of the story surprised you the most? Why?

5.Evaluating: What would you have done if you were part of the crew of th...more
Harrison Kessel
This book is a event-by-event story of how the Titanic sunk told through eyewitness accounts. The book starts off with the building of the Titanic in Dublin and the stories of the workers and passengers who got on the ship as it made its way to New York. Then, the book describes in detail what life was like aboard the ship and includes illustrations to further help the reader visualize. Titanic sinks towards the end of the book and describes in great detail the chaos and emotion that occurred du...more
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkins is a third person account with excerpts of first person quotations. Also, this novel takes place in the early nineteen hundreds. Also in this novel, the titanic is sailing from Europe to New York on the Atlantic Ocean. This novel also takes place on the actual ship of the Titanic. This story takes you to all the different parts of the Titanic. A few of the places described were the first, second, and third class floors, the boiler rooms, dinin...more
Apr 03, 2014 Eliseo added it
I think the author was very passionate about the Titanic and wanted other people to know about the crash. The book takes place in the rooms of the Titanic and its interesting to be able to read survivors storys. The book is an information non-fiction. Even though the book is an information it is told from first person from people on the Titanic. Reading the book told you everything about how people thought of the book and heard the panic you felt like you were there on the ship. My favorite lett...more
Mark A
I think that the aurthor, Deborah Hopkinson wrote this book to tell about the Titanic, how it crashed, and follow the letters of a few people who survived the titanic. This book takes place in the many well-decorated rooms of the titanic. This book does not have a point of view because it is informational non-fiction. However, the the book does follow peoples letters so you get the sense that it is in the first person sometimes. This book follows a few of the pasengers on the titanic's letters....more
I really liked reading this book because it was a new side of the story. We are taught about the Titanic sinking in school, and almost everyone has watched the movie by the time they get to highschool. But we are taught about it in a way that only the basics are touched upon. When reading this book, you are given a perspective of the people on the board, those that survived the terrible accident. We are given insight to things that I had never known before, for example, I didn't know that the nu...more
Brandi Rae
Well, this was certainly a timely read for me; I actually had two teens (one guy, one girl) this week asking me about Titanic books!

Definitely a thoroughly researched and well organized book; I loved at the end that the author chose to include so much useful back matter and further references. I'll admit, I'm always a little skeptical about books about the Titanic---given that you know how it ends, many times either the book gets bogged down in too much detail it becomes a dry and boring read, o...more
The theme of Titanic Voices of the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson is catastrophe. I think this book relates to disaster because when the ship hit the ice burg and sunk,it caused a disaster which lead to death of many people. The author’s prospective was to teach the reader about the Titanic and how it was built, setup and also how it crashed. The story took place around the boat grounds and on the boat as well. There was no specific protagonist in this novel, but the author talked about many of t...more
Title: Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Date published: 2012
Format: eBook
Genre or subject: NonFiction, History, Young Adult.
Synopsis: Titanic: Voices from the Disaster was a 2013 Sibert Honor Book and a finalist for the 2013 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Deborah Hopkinson brought together historical photographs, factual information, and stories from survivors of the Titanic to give fresh perspective on the Titanic’s terrible fate. Deborah Hopkinson has no fi...more
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster

Fiction twin text – Dangerous Waters: an Adventure on the Titanic, by Gregory Mone (2012)

The cover of Dangerous Waters creates intrigue and mystery for the reader by having an opening that will capture the reader’s interest: A stowaway, a stolen book, a murderous villain and an adventure on the most famous shipwreck in history! Having this on the cover attracts readers and creates intrigue and makes them want to read the book. Dangerous Waters uses fictional char...more
Sophie Gray
This informative book holds the underlying truth of the disaster of the ship The Titanic. The author of the book puts together the story of the Titanic and what truly happened to the ship and the people aboard. Having real survivors of the tragic accident narrate throughout the book gives the book much more emotion and reliability, as they personally experienced the accident themselves. The historical detail and the horrific drama that came about the tragedy of the titanic is clearly brought app...more
Helen Lee
This was a very descriptive book that took me into the life and journey on the Titanic. This book had more pieces of detail about the tragic ship that I have not heard of before. As a result, I learned more about the Titanic and its disaster. It was interesting to read about the diverse perspectives, ambitions, and personalities of the Titanic’s passengers and crew. I felt their joy, fear, confusion, and sorrow throughout the book. The only thing that bothered me while reading this was that ther...more
Genre and age: Informational/Non-fiction, grades 6 and up

Summary: The author, Deborah Hopkinson, narrates the events of the night the RMS Titanic sank through the voices of survivors, witnesses, illustrations, and historical photographs.

Curriculum: Students create a presentation around the events of Titanic or a specific historical person.

Reaction: I listened to this particular book first, and then went back to look through the illustrations of the hard copy. The audiobook was well done due to...more
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I write picture books, nonfiction, and middle grade fiction. I love history and visiting schools to talk to young readers.

TITANIC: VOICES FROM THE DISASTER was named a 2013 Sibert Honor Book and a 2013 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist. Annie and Helen was a finalist for a 2013 Oregon Book Award.

My most recent books are KNIT YOUR BIT, a World War I story, a historical fiction picture book s...more
More about Deborah Hopkinson...
Dear America, Hear My Sorrow: The Diary of Angela Denoto, a Shirtwaist Worker, New York City 1909 (Dear America Series) Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) A Boy Called Dickens

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