Posts tagged ‘YALSA’

Titanic: Voices From the Disaster

Titanic Voices From the DisasterTitle: Titanic: Voices From the Disaster
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
ISBN: 9780545116749
Pages: 289 pages
Publisher/Date: Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., c2012.

[...]On Thursday morning at around 11:30 a.m., the Titanic lowered her anchor two miles off Cobh harbor, at the Irish port of Queenstown (no w called Cobh), to pick up more passengers. It would be the ship’s last stop before heading out onto open seas — and to the New World. [...]
Years later, Frank (of Father Frank Browne) recounted that at dinner the first night on board he was befriended by a rich American couple, who offered to pay his way for the entire voyage — all the way to New York. But when he wired his religious order for permission to go, it was denied. The message read: “Get off that ship.”
So Frank left the ship — along with his precious photographic plates.
And that’s how it happened that today, thanks to Frank Browne and his uncle Robert’s generosity, we have his rare, heartbreaking photographs of those first hours of the Titanic’s maiden voyage. (21)

It’s stories of the near misses of people who survived the Titanic‘s sinking that strike readers so poignantly. Frank Browne received a two-day ticket as a gift, and departed the vessel before it reached open seas. Joe Mulholland decided not to sign up for work because he saw the ship’s cat carrying her kittens off the boat and took it as a bad omen. Violet Jessop, who at just 24 was working as a stewardess and who later would survive the sister-ship Britannica’s sinking during the war. But it’s also the story of the losses, like Alfred Rush who turned 16 on the boat just the day before and refused to get in a lifeboat because he was a man and not a child. Drawing extensively from first hand accounts of the disaster along with the work of historians, scientists, and researchers from today, Deborah Hopkinson puts the sinking of the Titanic into perspective and brings it to life.

I was a little skeptical of this book when I first heard about it, being published during the year of the 100th anniversary of its sinking. But I was pleasantly surprised by its quality and the emotions that it wrings out of readers. Covering the stories of children and adults, passengers and crew, Hopkinson presents a well-rounded look of the events of that night. Drawing heavily from previous works, her over 60 pages of source notes, photo credits, facts, glossary, timelines, and index due credit to the research profession, proving to readers the right way to cite your sources and providing an amazing wealth of resources. People interested in the disaster should check it out simply for the works cited, as it details the works of some of the survivors and provides resources to hear their accounts. I didn’t fully realize that since the event was 100 years ago, we no longer have any survivors alive today. Millvina Dean was the last survivor alive, passing away in 2009, but she was just nine weeks old at its sinking so I don’t know how much she could fully remember.

The source that everyone who is intrigued by the sinking should check out is http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org. This site is an absolute wealth of information about the survivors, the victims, the crew and passengers, even going so far as to document the description of the bodies recovered from the wreckage. The BBC also has some recordings of survivors telling their stories, which is fascinating to consider that we have that information available to us. Even if you don’t consult their additional sources, Hopkinson adds depth to the events by putting the crash into historical context with information that has come to light over the years. For instance, it doesn’t seem to be common knowledge that the Californian, a liner that was just ten to twenty miles away from the Titanic, shut off their radio just minutes before the collision occurred and could have helped if they’d only recognized the flares in the sky as a distress call.

All in all, you know that this is going to be a heartbreaking account, and still I encourage readers to take a look at this in-depth record. It’s not dry (pardon the pun) nonfiction but a well written compilation of accounts, superbly strung together while relating the story from setting off to sinking down,  drawing you in and making you feel as if you were there.

This is the first in a series of posts as part of YALSA’s challenge to read all the Nonfiction Award and Morris Debut Award Finalists before the winners are announced on January 28th. You can find the list of five finalists for each award on YALSA’s blog The Hub (Morris Award Finalists can be found here), along with information about the challenge.

Sunday Shout Out #7

Sunday Shout Out series was created to remind/encourage me to provide links to news stories, blog posts, and other things that I think are interesting and noteworthy. If you’re interested in participating or being featured in my next Sunday Shout Out, just drop me an e-mail. Do you have some news or links to share? Feel free to link to your own Sunday Shout Outs in the comments.

The Young Adult Library Association announced their nominations for the Teens’ Top Ten Award. Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Readers ages twelve to eighteen can vote online in August and September, and the winners will be announced during Teen Read Week in October. I love how YALSA runs their Teens’ Top Ten Award, because not only are the nominations determined by teens (who get to read ARCs in order to stay ahead of the publishing schedule) but it also allows the general public several months to get ahold of the books to read prior to making their decision.

The list is available on their official website as a PDFwith annotations of each title. If you’re too lazy to click over, here’s the list:

  • All Good Children by Catherine Austen (Orca Book Publishing, 2011; 9781554698240)
  • Ashes by Ilsa Bick (Egmont USA, 2011; 9781606841754)
  • Abandon by Meg Cabot (Point, 2012; 9780545040648)
  • Tempest by Julie Cross (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2012; 9780312568894)
  • What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen (Penguin Group/Viking Juvenile, 2011; 9780670012947)
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011; 9781442409057)
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman (Penguin Group/Dutton Juvenile, 2011; 9780525422945)
  • Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (Walker Children’s, 2012; 9780802723468)
  • Eona: The Last Dragoneye by Alison Goodman (Penguin Group/Viking Juvenile, 2011; 9780670063116)
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Penguin Group/Dutton Juvenile, 2012; 9780525478812)
  • Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge (Abrams/Amulet Books, 2011; 9780810997219)
  • Legend by Marie Lu (Penguin Group/Putnam Juvenile, 2011; 978-0399256752)
  • Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Egmont USA, 2011; 9781606841440)
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, 2012; 978031261894)
  • Shine by Lauren Myracle (Abrams/Amulet Books, 2011; 9780810984172)
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd, illustrated by Jim Kay (Candlewick, 2011; 9781406311525)
  • This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel (Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers, 2011; 9781442403154)
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Penguin Group/Razorbill, 2011; 9781595143976)
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Quirk Books, 2011; 9781594744761)
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, 2011; 9780062024022)
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Penguin Group/Philomel Books, 2011; 9780399254123)
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic/Scholastic Press, 2011; 9780545224901)
  • How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr (Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, 2011; 9780316036061)
  • All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011; 9780374302108)

While the website has some really great publicity, they don’t have an easy to distribute summary of the titles to give to teens. Taking the four page PDF printout, I condensed the descriptions even further to just a few lines, included the title, author, and book cover, and will be printing them out in a tri-fold for my teens. I’ve included a copy for others to use if you’d like. If someone can tell me how to add a Publisher file to the blog, I’ll add it in that format, but for right now, it’s available as a PDF or as an admittedly rough copy of a Word .doc file and you can paste your logo and contact information where it’s indicated. If anyone has an issue with what I did, just let me know and I’ll remove it.

How did I miss this? Following a trail of links, I discovered a project that has been in the works since 2009. Star Wars Uncut is the brain child of Casey Pugh, who with some help cut down the very first Star Wars movie into 15 second segments and crowdsourced it out for people to reproduce. The final compiled version apparently won a 2010 Primetime EMMY for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media – Fiction. In a New York Times article that appeared after the win, it explains that:

A computer program written by Mr. Pugh automatically plays the highest-rated rendition of each scene, and it compiles those scenes on the fly, so the movie can change in real time depending on the ratings of users.

I haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but what I have watched is amazing, and any Star Wars fan should take a look. Apparently it’s even supported by Lucas Films! I feel like this is totally something you should have found in Ready Player One.

Last, but certainly not least for this Sunday Shout Out, is the Weapon of Mass Instruction. I don’t speak/read Spanish well enough to glean any information from the original site, but the blog I’ve linked to provides a basic translation as well as a link to a YouTube interview with the creator, Raul Lemesoff. Honestly, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

You can’t tell me this isn’t seriously cool… I’m extremely jealous.

Until next time!

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