Young cabin steward, Sid, is proud to be working on the glamorous Titanic, which has set sail on its maiden voyage. Meanwhile, farmer’s daughter Clara has inadvertently ended up as a stowaway on the Carpathia after wanting to spend more time with her cousin, who is a Marconi Telegraph Operator. There, she bonds with the biggest, best dog she’s ever known: Rigel. On one of history’s most famous terrible nights, the trio’s fates will collide… possibly along with an extraordinary creature from the deep…
I have been fascinated by the Titanic since I was about 9-10 years old and have read many books and watched countless documentaries about this tragedy. This summer, my wife had suggested visiting Belfast to go to the Titanic museum and having just finished Call of the Titanic, I’ve said we’ve got to go now! Another astonishing, gripping read from Lindsay Galvin, I couldn’t put this down after starting it last night (Lindsay’s books always jump to the top of my reading pile!). All three of Lindsay’s books have wonderfully researched events and I love how the characters are grounded in fact but what could have happened is fictionalised – it’s a captivating mix of fact and myth. You can find my reviews of Darwin’s Dragons here and My Friend, The Octopus here (my class loved Octopus as their first class story this year!).
You often hear about the events of the Titanic from being on the doomed ship but Lindsay cleverly takes the story to the ship which raced to the survivors, the Carpathia. Placing Clara and Rigel here means a nervous countdown to 15th April 1912, and Sid’s point of view of the events (retold during the United States Senate Inquiry) really adds to the suspense too.
Like Vinny in My Friend The Octopus, it’s great to see a strong, female protagonist willing to challenge society’s expectations of them. All of Lindsay’s stories have a touching animal friendship at their core and Call of the Titanic has the most beautiful hero in Rigel. Again, he is based on fact and I was fascinated learning where his name originates. A gripping final act of the story will leave your heart in your mouth so tissues may be necessary!
Another essential read from Lindsay Galvin, Call of the Titanic is action-packed, emotional and sensitively written about such a tragic event. It will leave your heart warm rather than cold by the end!
Suggested reading age: 9+
Call of the Titanic is written by Lindsay Galvin and it will be published by Chicken House on 8th June 2023. Why not preorder a copy now from an indie bookshop? I preordered mine from the brilliant Rocketship Bookshop (available here!).