Review of Iceberg

Iceberg Iceberg
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Intermediate    Scholastic    352 pp.
3/23    9781338795028    $17.99

Ever since Hazel’s father’s death, it has been hard for the family to make ends meet. When her aunt, who lives in America and works in a garment factory, invites her to live and work with her, Hazel accepts the opportunity to help support the family. Preparing to leave England, she decides to seek passage on the Titanic but is forced to stow away when she doesn’t have enough money to cover the fare. Once aboard, she befriends Charlie, a porter; Sylvia, a first-class passenger; and Mrs. ­Abelman, a teacher who nurtures her dream of becoming a ­journalist. The inquisitive Hazel investigates her surroundings quite thoroughly, from the ship’s physical construction to the passengers and their secrets. This exploration allows Nielsen (The Shadow Throne, rev. 3/14) to weave historical research into her first-person narrative. If the foreshadowing of the impending tragedy is a bit clumsy, that can be forgiven: everybody knows how the Titanic’s story unfolds. An author’s note separates fact from fiction, while primary source documents (newspaper articles, photographs, and transcripts) are occasionally interspersed between chapters. ­

From the March/April 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Jonathan Hunt
Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

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