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The Watch That Ends the Night

The Watch that Ends the Night
By Allan Wolf
Candlewick Press, 2011
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
Arrogance and innocence, hubris and hope--twenty-four haunting voices of the Titanic tragedy, as well as the iceberg itself, are evoked in a stunning tour de force.

Millionaire John Jacob Astor hopes to bring home his pregnant teen bride with a minimum of media scandal. A beautiful Lebanese refugee, on her way to family in Florida, discovers the first stirrings of love. And an ancient iceberg glides south, anticipating its fateful encounter. The voices in this remarkable re-creation of the Titanic disaster span classes and stations, from Margaret ("the unsinkable Molly") Brown to the captain who went down with his ship; from the lookout and wireless men to a young boy in search of dragons and a gambler in search of marks. Slipping in telegraphs, undertaker’s reports, and other records, poet Allan Wolf offers a breathtaking, intimate glimpse at the lives behind the tragedy, told with clear-eyed compassion and astounding emotional power.

You know, it's hard to find a new angle on the story of the Titanic. To me, it seems that all the stories are pretty much the same. But not this book. It was unique and well-written. I've never read a better-written book in verse. This author knows what he's doing. I loved the multiple perspectives. I think my favorite was the sinister and eerie voice of the iceberg. AMAZING. 

The fictional part of the story was entertaining and realistic. I was incredibly worried about the kids whose father ran away with them. I wanted to warn everyone about the gambler. I loved hearing about the class issues, even within the classes themselves. I enjoyed the love stories and the scandal. WHO DOESN'T LOVE SCANDAL?!

The best part of the book was the detailed section in the back. It had all of the facts I needed and sorted out what was real, what was iffy, and what was added. It had biographies of all the important characters, which I loved. Finally, when I looked at the back, I saw there was a blurb by Ted Kooser. He comes to my area quite often, and he is very talented. A book has to be high-quality if he had something positive to say about it. Too bad I didn't see it beforehand. 

If anyone needs a good Titanic book, this is the one to get.