The Watch That Ends the Night


Title: The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic

Author: Allan Wolf

Summary: It is April 15, 1912. Undertaker John Snow is on a cable boat, heading towards the site of one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century: The sinking of the RMS Titanic. He thinks he sees birds floating on the surface of the water but as he gets closer, he sees what they really are: Frozen bodies. From this intense and gripping opening scene we are sent back in time to the beginning of the Titanic’s maiden voyage. Through the voices of over 20 actual people who were on board the ship, from the Captain and Shipbuilder, to famous travelers like John Jacob Astor and Margaret “The Unsinkable Molly” Brown, to unknown passengers from third class, we follow the Titanic from the excitement before its maiden voyage to its launch to its destruction in the frigid North Atlantic by iceberg.

You may be familiar with the Titanic from that famous movie. But author and poet Wolf presents the story in such a complete and thorough way that both readers who know nothing and who know it all will be entranced. Written in verse, it is a quick and compelling read. Even the iceberg and the ship’s rat get to share their story. Sure, you know how it ends, but this is a book about the journey, not the destination. The final section of the book is devoted to facts about the ship and those who sailed on it, giving a grim description of the grandeur of the Titanic and the scope of its legendary tragedy.

Who will like this book?: This is the official One Book One Town 2012 selection for Fairfield, so…everybody! The 100-year anniversary of the Titanic’s voyage is on it’s way so this is a book for anyone interested in this famous disaster story. Fans of adventure and historical fiction. People who like hearing a story from more than one point of view. Fans of Ellen Hopkins, Sonia Sones, and other verse novelists.

If you like this, try this: A classic, A Night to Remember by Walter Lord. Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn. Iceberg Right Ahead by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

Find this book and more at the Fairfield Public Library.