In the second installment of the Flashback Four series, time-travelers Luke, Julia, David, and Isabel are off on a new adventure, this time boarding the Titanic to snap a photograph as it sinks.
The friends (Luke and Julia are white, David is African-American, and Latina Isabel is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic) failed in their debut mission: to get a picture of Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. Now they’re anxious for a new adventure and decide to visit the Titanic on April 15, 1912, the day it sank. Their employer, white, wheelchair-using billionaire Chris Zandergoth, uses her interactive smartboard as a time-traveling device and equips the kids with a new Text Through Time device so she can communicate with them and pull them off the ship just before it sinks. Of course, even with the TTT, everything does not go swimmingly, and the foursome may well get trapped in time, if they survive at all. An introduction presents the basic Titanic story, archival photographs are scattered throughout the text, and a concluding “Facts & Fictions” section tells more. Gutman enriches the tale with moral dilemmas, including whether or not the protagonists should go against instructions to record but not change history and warn the captain of the impending disaster.
A fizzy, fast-paced read with lots of history woven in. (Adventure. 8-12)