On April 10, 1912, RMS Titanic left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City. Famous even before her tragic accident, the Titanic was not only the biggest ship in the world at the time but the White Star Line had spared no expense in also making her the most luxurious. First class passengers could enjoy a swimming pool, Turkish bath, library, gym, and a squash court, as well as very fancy common rooms. Even the third-class quarters were much nicer than other ships. Her passengers were a mixture of some of the wealthiest people in the world and immigrants hoping to find a better life in America.
People were so sure that the Titanic was unsinkable that there were only enough lifeboats on board for half of the ship’s passengers and crew. But only four days into her first journey, at 11:40 PM on April 14, she struck an iceberg and water began pouring into the ship. Two hours and 40 minutes later, the ship sank beneath the icy waters, only three degrees above freezing. The Carpathia rescued only 705 survivors of the more than 2,000 people on board. 1,522 passengers and crew were lost, probably because there weren’t enough lifeboats and the crew hadn’t been trained on how to use them. It is still one of the worst maritime disasters during peacetime.
More than a hundred years later, the sinking of the Titanic still captures people’s imaginations, inspiring movies, plays, artwork, songs, and of course, books. In honor of the 107th anniversary of its sinking, here are 5 fiction and 5 nonfiction books about the Titanic.
I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic – Lauren Tarshis
Tonight on the Titanic – Mary Pope Osborne
Voyage on the Great Titanic – Ellen Emerson White
Titanic: Unsinkable – Gordon Korman
The Titanic Mission – Dan Gutman
What Was the Titanic? – Stephanie Sabol
Titanic: Voices From the Disaster – Deborah Hopkinson
On Board the Titanic : What it Was Like When the Great Liner Sank – Shelley Tanaka
Titanic: A Nonfiction Companion to Tonight on the Titanic – Mary Pope Osborne