by Allan Wolf
This weekend marks 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. If you are just learning about that disastrous night or if you have been a long time Titanic buff, you should pick up Allan Wolf’s The Watch That Ends the Night. It’s a novel in verse that gives voice to many of the real life passengers aboard the Titanic from the time before it set sail to days after the sinking. Some of the voices include the ship rat, and yes, it is an actual rat’s point of view of life aboard the Titanic. The more famous passengers like John Jacob Aster, the millionaire, and E.J. Smith, the Titanic’s captain, also tell their side of the story. There are lesser known passengers like Jamila Nicola-Yareed, a young teen immigrant who really was aboard the ship, and Wolf has given her a fictional story to tell about what might have happened to her aboard the ship. There are a few other unexpected “characters” who have a voice in this novel, too, like the iceberg and the first class promenade.
The Watch That Ends the Night is a very compelling read and unlike many books about Titanic. Since the author gives each character a personal story to tell, the events that unfold the night that the Titanic sinks are even more dramatic because you really care about each character. Also, a great thing about this book is at the end: the author provides many facts that you should know about the Titanic and the people and things that he gave a voice to in the book. I definitely feel that after having read the book, that I now know much more about the Titanic story. I would highly recommend The Watch That Ends the Night to any aged reader who wants a fantastic book that relates the dramatic story of the Titanic.