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Titanic: Voices From the Disaster

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,770 Ratings  ·  507 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
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Newbery 2013
37th out of 113 books — 1,213 voters
Fateful by Claudia GrayDistant Waves by Suzanne WeynTitanic by Deborah HopkinsonVoyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson WhiteA Night to Remember by Walter Lord
YA Titanic Novels
3rd out of 14 books — 53 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
Mar 04, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-hardback
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
Apr 06, 2013 Danielle rated it really liked it
Shelves: ls-583
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
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
Emma Frank
Apr 07, 2016 Emma Frank rated it really liked it
Titanic: Voices From the Disaster, by Deborah Hopkinson was a great book that followed the stories of several Titanic survivors and showed their view of what happened that night. This book was very interesting, and I am glad that I read it, but it was a lot of information and probably was meant to be a research book. Upon reading the back of this book, I thought that it was going to just be stories about the Titanic and the people on board. It was however, a book filled with facts and statistics ...more
Hugh C
Sep 17, 2015 Hugh C rated it liked it
Form 1 English, section:

Good Reads Review: Summer Reading

In the book Titanic the voices from the disaster by Deborah Hopkinson, the message is to never give up, for example some people gave up by not leaving their room. This story took place on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It was during 1912 with a few very cold late April night. One of the protagonist Captain Rostrom is the captain of the tanic he is a very wise and experienced sailor. He was a very proud man and
Jun 26, 2015 Megan added it
Shelves: twin-texts
Twin Text (Intermediate)

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
By Lauren Tarshis
Published 2010

Rationale for Twin Texts Selection

The students are learning about the Titanic. I chose two books to teach about the ocean liner. The fictional book is a historical fiction so all the facts about the Titanic are true but the story and characters are not. This way it teaches about the Titanic with an interesting story to go along with it. The non-fiction book has lots of information that will be ve
Julie Suzanne
Mar 11, 2016 Julie Suzanne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone curious.
Absolutely fascinating from the beginning to end. Never a dragging moment. I just wish the pictures would have been vivid or somehow a supplement to the text, but I have the internet and the movie for that, I suppose (blasted black-and-white photography). I did cry, a bit, and often I was just so ANGRY about how it all went down. One thing I learned from this book is that in matters that matter, my disposition of compliance needs to be discarded. This obedience, courtesy, and compliance killed m ...more
Mar 22, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
• 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
Tricia Jonell
Aug 29, 2015 Tricia Jonell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I've read numerous articles about the RMS Titanic because I always find this historical ship fascinating.
I am glad because this book gave me a whole picture about the unforgettable night that killed many passengers. Narratives from the survivors and pictures of the "unsinkable" ship broke my heart.

I've seen the movie about this but, now I can tell that there are still heaps of information that we don't know about this ship. Photos of the ship were taken by Father Frank Browne. Two rich couple of
Reggie Overton
Nov 26, 2014 Reggie Overton rated it it was amazing
This non fiction novel focus's on exactly as the title of the story suggests. We are taken back to a period in time, and we explore one of the most tragic events of history that many find most fascinating. The story of the Titanic is brought back to life through this heart felt story by real quotes of survivors and real accounts of events that took place on that faithful night. It is not too complex for our young readers and puts things in comprehensive perspective that they will find enjoyable. ...more
Feb 09, 2012 Sandra rated it really liked it
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
Apr 11, 2012 Amie rated it really liked it
I am not a big non-fiction reader, though I do make the occasional exception, especially if the topic happens to be of some interest to me. Ever since I saw 1997’s Titanic by James Cameron, I have been curious about what really happened to the ship. I know that movies embellish a great deal for dramatic effect and I wanted to understand the truth about the sinking of Titanic. It has been several years since I read anything regarding the Titanic, so I was pleased to receive a request to review th ...more
Mar 26, 2013 Sunday rated it really liked it
“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
Sep 19, 2012 Rachael Stein rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Sep 13, 2013 Clara M. rated it liked it
Shelves: 6th-and-form-i
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
Nov 05, 2013 L13F_Jana Wilkening rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll520-info-bios
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
Dec 19, 2012 Staci rated it it was amazing
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!

Apr 08, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it
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
Jan 22, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, jared
Jared's book club is discussing this book so we listened to the audio-book in the car. It was a bit dense and I was constantly pausing the recording to answer questions and explain things but it was really fascinating. Both boys were enthralled with the topic and we had some great discussions about the danger of having too much confidence in technology, valuing profits over human life, social and economic inequality, leadership traits, and responsibility and accountability.
Jul 25, 2015 Jim rated it liked it
A pretty good recounting of the historical tragedy, sprinkled heavily with eyewitness accounts from roughly a handful of survivors. Much of the five-day voyage is gone quickly, the bulk of the narrative focusing on the sinking. Fairly well told, in a manner I think good for an introduction to the event and the complexities, that should send interested readers to additional accounts. A little bit too much repetition perhaps, which can get irritating.
Feb 22, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Salvador Rodriguez
Oct 06, 2015 Salvador Rodriguez rated it it was amazing
I really like it since I like the titanic. It is a very moving book and at a certain point of the book I started crying. This is why I think it is very emotional. I would really recommend it is very emotional and sad. I would really recommend it to you it is the best.
Apr 26, 2016 Darian rated it it was amazing
The book is a great resource to learn about the titanic. The book was from the point of view of nine survivors from the tragic disaster of the titanic. The book has suspense. The book was very interesting and I enjoyed reading it. It had many emotional parts. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in the Titanic.
Jan 10, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
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.
AxeL Juarez
Nov 04, 2015 AxeL Juarez rated it it was amazing
This book is filled with lots of problems. This informs me about what happened a long time ago. This an amazing book. I recommend this book to how like history.
Andrew Bartol
Mar 07, 2016 Andrew Bartol rated it it was ok
In this book, there was really no main charecters. Throughout the book, the perspective switched between so many people, telling their stories. some of thm from the captain, first class passengers, second class passengers, nd third class passengers, and even some of the crew. Of coarse, as you can tell by the title, the conflict is about the titanic sinking. If you have some background knowledge, you will know that the ship starts to sink and there and not enough lifeboats for everyone on board. ...more
Pamela Massey
Dec 17, 2015 Pamela Massey rated it really liked it
Titanic voices from the disaster written by Deborah Hopkinson was a moving, yet informational book full of history and pictures. It tells you everything that went wrong and what would have gone right on the last night of the ships sailing. If things that happened would have been different. It also tells you exactly how much supplies, how much the anchor weighed and everything that the ship had on board. Some of the information I found useful and thought "wow how would they get that much stuff on ...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. My most recent nonfiction title, COURAGE & DEFIANCE, Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in WWII Denmark,was named an Orbis Pictus Recommended Bo
More about Deborah Hopkinson...

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“The events of the Titanic disaster can be seen as a symbol of what happens through overconfidence in technology, complacence, and a mindset of profits over people's safety.” 1 likes
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