David Stuart 31 January 2012 - 9:00am
This children's book about the night the Titanic sunk is an evocative new spin on the disaster.
The sinking of the Titanic is probably the world’s most famous maritime disaster, and 2012 not only marks 100 years since the ship hit the iceberg, but also 100 years of books, journals, films and television programmes discussing every inch of the ship from every possible angle. The challenge for any author wishing to contribute to this ever expanding library of works is to add something new and engage an audience that inevitably already knows how the story ends.
Keeping broadly within the confines of documented events Allan Wolf’s novel, written in verse, gives a fictional voice to many of those people who were on board the ship based on the available historical evidence. From millionaires and socialites to refugees and immigrants, from the captain of the ship to the stoker in the boiler room, Wolf engages us with the individual stories that could all too easily be lost in the icy waters of the Atlantic.
There will be many books published on the Titanic this year, but whilst some will appeal solely to the Titanic devotee, The Watch That Ends the Night is an intelligent account for older children, but deserves to be enjoyed by a far wider audience. Not only do the different voices combine to provide a rich picture of life on the ship, and of the time, but the extensive back material will provide plenty of further information for those who discover the continuing appeal of the Titanic.