2012 was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, so it’s a perfect time to read books about this landmark event. Here are the time travel books I’ve found about this great doomed ship, listed in approximate order of age-appropriateness, from younger elementary to YA. I’ve read five of them. Clicking on “my review” will bring you to my post on that book. Those posts give more information about the books and links to other resources about the Titanic. Enjoy!
Jack and Annie are in for an exciting, scary, and sad adventure when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the decks of the Titanic. Is there anything they can do to help the ill-fated ship? Will they be able to save anyone? Will they be able to save themselves?
2. The Kids of Einstein Elementary #2: Titanic Cat (2004, 64 pages). There is a second Einstein Kids book that takes place in another setting. I’m intrigued because the kids in both stories are described as using math to solve their dilemma. I would like to see if the authors worked math into the plot in a way that feels natural. I’d like to check it out. (There are other books about cats on the Titanic! These include Titanicat, and Kaspar, the Titanic Cat). From Scholastic:
Steffi, Kenny, and Jose find themselves on the Titanic just as it’s about to hit an iceberg! They befriend a young passenger named Emma and her kitten, but Emma refuses to board without him. Using probability, Jose locates the missing kitten just in time!
3. Canadian Flyer Adventures #14: SOS! Titanic! by Frieda Wishinsky (2010, 96 pages). This is one in a series of seventeen books, all set in interesting historical settings. My library does not carry these. From Amazon:
Friends Emily Bing and Matt Martinez have discovered that the Canadian Flyer, an antique red sled, holds amazing powers. The magical sled has taken them all over the country and all through time. Along the way, they’ve come face to face with pirates, dinosaurs, prospectors, Vikings, and even Alexander Graham Bell. In the latest book in the Canadian Flyer Adventures series, Matt and Emily want to know everything about the Titanic and how it sank on April 15, 1912. And when the sled flies them to the famous ship on the afternoon of April 14, they realize they only have a few hours before the ship collides with an iceberg. Can the two friends convince Captain Smith to turn the Titanic around or change its course? Can they help their new friend Maddy and her aunt survive the disaster?
4. Back to the Titanic (Travelers through Time Series, No. 1) by Beatrice Gormley, (1994, 132 pages). Ms. Gormley has two other books featuring these characters, in other settings. I like books in which kids use their smarts to solve problems. I was irritated by this book because I feel the trio failed to do so. My review.
Matt and Emily’s great-grandfather is an inventor, and he’s just created the greatest invention of all – a way to travel through time. He plans to return to the Titanic, which he sailed on as a boy, and try to save it. But when he breaks his ankle it looks as if his plans have been ruined. Until Matt, Emily, and Matt’s best friend, Jonathan, find the invention. Jonathan, a real science whiz, figures out how to make it work. In a snap, the three kids travel back nearly one hundred years. They are on the Titanic! Can they save the great ship before it hits the iceberg and sinks to the bottom of the ocean? And more important, will they be able to get back to the present time?
5. Return to Titanic, by Steve Brezenoff, (2012, 104 pages). This is the first in a series of four books about a pair of friends who return to the Titanic. This was a pleasant humorous story in which not a lot happened. The book had great illustrations which made it fun to read. My guess is you would need to plan on reading all four in the series to get to the heart of the action. My review.
On the first day of their spring break, best friends Tucker and Maya discover a “Special Collection” of Titanic artifacts at the local museum. But the artifacts have more power than they know. When they touch a magic ticket, Tucker and Maya find themselves transported 100 years in the past to Titanic’s maiden voyage. Now they must figure out how to save a new friend, and return to the present, before time runs out.
6. The Baseball Card Kid, by Adam Osterweil, (2009, 200 pages). Mr. Osterweil wrote another book, The Comic Book Kid featuring the same characters, but in that book they do not travel to the Titanic. This book has a far-reaching plot. Shortly after the start of the book the two friends are on the Titanic. By the end they are in the future, zooming between planets. Oh, and there are vampires involved. Possibly the author had too much coffee before writing this one. But it would seem a good pick for kids who like a lot of action in their books. My review. From Goodreads:
When Brian and Paul acquire a brand-new Timequest comic book, they head out on a quest to replace a mint condition Honus Wagner Baseball Card that Brian accidentally destroyed when he was younger. To find it, all they have to do is warp the space-time continuum to the year 1912, board the “Titanic, “and find Brian’s Great Uncle Sean. No problem. But the boys soon find themselves in some sticky situations. As the TimeQuest Comic magically chronicles their travels, the boys discover that their actions have doomed all of humankind. Now they must travel to the distant reaches of the universe and the darkest Transylvania to set things right again. Can they fix the world and make it home with the million-dollar baseball card before it’s too late?
7. The Titanic Game, by Mike Warner, (2007, 208 pages). I love the cover of this book. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m trying to imagine how Dane winds up on an iceberg with the Titanic looming over him. No wonder he looks shocked. From Goodreads:
When fifth-grader, Dane Sheridan, gets caught mistreating his foster sister Abby, again, the principal gives him a book on the Titanic. He thinks that his punishment will be to write a report. Then the principal tells him that he needs a game…a big game…a Titanic game. Dane learns a life-changing lesson when the magic book transports the two of them back to the doomed ship, and he must save them both from disaster.
8. The Time-Traveling Fashionista (On Board the Titanic), by Bianca Turetsky, (2011, 262 pages). Ms. Turetsky has written another book in which twelve-year-old Louise, the Time Traveling Fashionista, goes to the palace of Marie Antoinette. The unique feature of this book is the full-page, full-color illustrations, mostly of dresses. This was a decent story, although I don’t think it would appeal to boys at all, while being a must-read for girls crazy about fashion. My review. From Goodreads:
What if a beautiful vintage dress could take you back in time? Louise Lambert has always dreamed of movie starlets and exquisite gowns and longs for the day when she can fill the closet of her normal suburban home with stylish treasures. But when she receives a mysterious invitation to a vintage fashion sale in the mail, her once painfully average life is magically transformed into a time-travel adventure. Suddenly onboard a luxurious cruise ship a hundred years ago, Louise relishes the glamorous life of this opulent era and slips into a life of secrets, drama, and decadence. . . .Dreamy and imaginative, The Time-Traveling Fashionista features thirty full-color fashion illustrations to show gorgeous dresses and styles throughout history.
9. Ghosts of the Titanic, by Julie Lawson, (2012, 168 pages). I appreciated how in this story we do not spend the whole book on board the Titanic. Instead there is a big focus on Angus who had to recover bodies from the Titanic–a unusual focus. And I feel like I learned a lot about the Titanic. My review.
When twelve-year-old Kevin Messenger’s father inherits a house in Halifax, Canada, left to him by a complete stranger named Angus Seaton, Kevin decides to investigate. His puzzling discoveries lead to troubling dreams and a voice calling to him for help. A parallel narrative tells the dramatic story of Angus Seaton, who worked on one of the ships responsible for recovering bodies and personal effects after the Titanic sank. The two stories converge in a spine-tingling climax as Kevin is transported aboard the sinking Titanic to try to right the wrongs of the past.
Blossom Culp is the outspoken outcast of Bluff City, always getting into trouble. No one wants to cross her, especially now that she’s revealed that she can see the Unseen. Then Blossom herself is stunned, because her lie turns out to be truth. She actually does have second sight…and she is “on board” the sinking Titanic.
11 .(Bonus!) Fateful, by Claudia Gray, (2012, 328 pages). Spoiler alert: there are werewolves on the ship. I feel it necessary to share this info because it’s not in the general description but it’s a deal breaker for me. I am just not interested in werewolves. At all. Whereas for others this would be big selling point. So I thought you should know. From Goodreads:
The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets. When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn. Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…
The opening scene of Time Riders by Alex Scarrow (my review) finds Liam O’Conner on board the Titanic but it is a very short scene so I did not include it in my list. If you know of other Titanic time travel stories for kids that I have left off my list, please let me know!