Tracey Demario's Reviews > Finding the Titanic

Finding the Titanic by Robert D. Ballard
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Mar 08, 12

bookshelves: children-s-literature
Read in March, 2012

This brief, but informative, nonfiction book is appropriate for early elementary grades (P, I). Robert Ballard describes how he and his crew discovered and explored the resting place of the Titanic. In addition, alternating chapters present a fictionalized account of the experiences of an actual passenger. Ruth Becker, who survived the wreck, along with her mother, sister and brother, was only 12 years old when the Titanic sank. Her story brings a personal element to the book and makes the details of the exploration even more poignant. Illustrations include diagrams, photographs and drawings of the ship before and after it sank. Ken Marschall’s color paintings depicting the actual sinking are stunning. I think the inclusion of Ruth’s story makes this account more appealing to girls than just a straightforward description of Ballard’s work would have been. The writing is easy to understand and provides a good description of the immensity of the ship. This is a wonderful resource for introducing students to the tragedy of the Titanic. Classroom exercises could include having students pretend they were aboard the ship, either as a passenger or crew member, and writing of their experience. Ballard expressly mentions he wishes the wreck would remain undisturbed. Classroom discussions of the book can include why students think he wants this to be so.
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