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SOS TITANIC by Eve Bunting


by Eve Bunting

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-15-200271-5
Publisher: Harcourt

From a familiar event, Bunting (Train to Somewhere, p. 65, etc.) creates a gripping story that will have readers struggling right along with its hero on the doomed Titanic. Barry O'Neill, 15, leaves Ireland, where he's been living with his grandparents, to join his parents in New York. He sails in first class on the largest oceangoing vessel in the world, the Titanic. Also on board, in steerage, are Barry's worst enemies, the fighting Flynn boys, who have threatened to throw him overboard; with them is their gentle sister Pegeen. From the outset, Barry fares badly with the Flynns; in the meantime, his steward--born with a caul--predicts disaster for the ship and its occupants. The one positive force is Barry's crush on Pegeen and her reciprocal interest. When the ship begins to sink, Barry witnesses the other passengers' disbelief and jocularity, and then their panic or (more rarely) stoicism. He makes a desperate attempt to find Pegeen, who is trapped with hundreds of others in steerage until all the lifeboats are launched. Suspense, adventure, romance, and a protagonist who comes of age under terrible circumstances combine in a novel that survives the tragedy at its center without diminishing it, and somehow remains upbeat. (Fiction. 12+)