Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why Children Love the Titanic

As a voracious reader who has loved history for as long as I can remember, I could not resist the temptation to write a historical fiction book for children. The inspiration for Over the Deep is obviously the tragedy of the Titanic, but it is also more than that. I wanted to look at this ship and its only voyage from the point of view of a child, so that my young readers would feel as though they were on board.

From years of experience with my own children and volunteering in their school library, I knew that young readers are drawn to nonfiction much more than many parents give them credit for. While light reads such as Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid would sell like hotcakes at book fairs, children made different selections when they entered the library on their own. Sure, these fun graphic novels still flew off the shelves, but a stunning number of children choose books about animals, historic figures, and places they've never seen. One of the most popular topics: the Titanic.

The story of the Titanic has captivated several generations at this point, and the youngest is no exception. When I work with preschoolers, those 32 page easy readers on the Titanic get dog-eared and worn in no time. With poor immigrants, rich icons of the age, and the builders of the greatest ship of all time on board, the Titanic offers a story to captivate any reader, young or old. Of course, what the younger readers are looking for is not the romanticized story that we get in the major motion picture, so Over the Deep is something quite different.

Understanding children's love of fun facts, I have injected Over the Deep with tidbits about the historical figures on board, facts about the ship itself, and a timeline of actual events. These are told through the character of Edwin, a 10 year old Welsh boy who has a personal story to go along with his exploration of this great engineering marvel. This balanced blend of facts and fiction was created to appeal to kids, sparking their interest in reading and history. Through Edwin, readers are taken on a tour of the great ship and learn about the people, resources, and planning that went into it. And they see it all fall apart.

If you have a child who loves history, adventure, or survival stories, they will love Over the Deep. For a limited time, you can get it on Kindle for only 99c/99p!