Reviews for All Stations! Distress! : April 15, 1912: the Day the Titanic Sank

Booklist Reviews 2008 October #2
"This compact book begins with a few basic facts and a rendering of the construction of the ship. It then moves to the excitement of the launch, though even that is clouded with this ominous statement: "Titanic needed more months to be fully fitted, but a ship launching is something of a birth . . . No one could have guessed that she would be dead within a year." Fast forward to the day before the catastrophic events. Brown gives a quick description of the types of passengers before providing a play-by-play portrayal of the events leading up to the ship's sinking and, then, the rescue of some of the passengers. While the riveting text could stand alone, the illustrations are an integral part, enhancing without overwhelming. They are appropriately somber, filled with action, but not overly dramatic. This is an excellent example of how a complex topic can be made accessible and interesting to young children." Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
Brown recounts the complicated, compact last moments of the Titanic's only voyage. The glory of the book is in Brown's moody watercolors done with a brush dipped in stardust and frozen mist; they reach a terrifying crescendo as the ship upends before the final dive. The tale closes with some information about the survivors' later lives. Bib. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #5
The Titanic is everybody's favorite disaster. Hollywood has sunk it time and again and raised it at least once. More to the point, young people who couldn't tell you when World War I was, or why, can reel off the ship's stats. While the Titanic would hardly be a tug against the hull of today's mighty Queen Mary II, it looms ever larger in myth as we sail nearer its centennial year. Don Brown recounts the complicated, compact last moments of the ship's only voyage. His story isn't child-centered, though in one stirring illustration a small child is flung off a high railing toward a lifeboat far below. The tale ends with something of the later lives of the survivors, including Mrs. J. J. Brown of Denver, the Unsinkable Molly. The glory of All Stations! Distress! is in Brown's moody watercolors done with a brush dipped in stardust and frozen mist. They reach a terrifying crescendo as the ship upends before the final dive. A brief bibliography includes Walter Lord's A Night to Remember, a book that's been igniting generations of Titanic fans -- and a reason to head back to the library for the young reader of this rousing story. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 November #1
The Titanic's fateful maiden voyage receives a riveting review in Brown's latest work. Passengers' perilous experiences aboard the doomed vessel, from those traveling in luxury to the third-class guests, unfold as the taut writing exposes the floundering attempts to save the passengers, punctuated by quotations from survivors. Double-page spreads capture the turmoil; thin lines and darkened eyes depict the mass terror even as the expressive watercolors build to the waves' crashing climax. Clear and accessible language describes the controversy surrounding the sinking and the alarming number of lower-class casualties. "For no reason other than the stubborn notion that the poor shouldn't mix with the rich, not even in the face of calamity, they had been kept below." In a companion title, Let It Begin Here (ISBN: 978-1-59643-221-5), the events leading to the American Revolution and the monumental milestones of this tumultuous period are captured. Both books include bibliographies, but there is no specific documentation for quoted material. These suspenseful and fast-paced nonfiction selections provide arresting snapshots of history. (Nonfiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 December #1

Brown, noted for his numerous picture-book biographies of lesser-known figures, here offers a slightly older audience "you are there"-style accounts of two signal dates in American history. Expert pacing, novelistic incorporation of quotations and well-observed but straightforward reportage draw readers into the action. He humanizes complicated ideas. For example, Let It Begin opens vividly as King George III wins the Seven Years' War: "Celebration was surely in order. But George could not celebrate," writes Brown, quickly explaining how Britain's war debt contributes to the start of the Revolution. Looking at the Titanic, Brown explains the causes of the disaster and, describing the passengers' and crew's behavior, finds the details that speak loudest (a passenger stuck on the sinking ship gives his life jacket to a woman boarding a lifeboat). His subtle watercolor-and-pencil compositions skillfully capture moments in the text--people's facial expressions; the blood of battle; rushing, roiling, icy water; as well as both the valiant and understated gestures of some of the actors. Top-notch. Ages 6-10. (Dec.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 November

Gr 3-5--On the title-page spread, a Titanic crew member confides that "God himself could not sink this ship!" preparing readers for the well-known fate of the "unsinkable" steamer. A combination of poor choices and bad luck dogged the Titanic on its maiden voyage from England to New York, and controversy remains about its design, its speed in the iceberg-laden North Atlantic, and the lack of preparations for evacuation. Brown's watercolor illustrations capture the grandeur of the ship and the enormity of the failed escape: a mass of angry passengers confronts a crewman waving a gun, the steerage passengers are released to find that many of the lifeboats have been lowered half-empty, and survivors watch from a capsized lifeboat as the ship upends and sinks into the ocean with hundreds of passengers trapped onboard. Brown includes first-person testimony in the narrative, which ends with the rescue of some of the survivors. This is a wonderfully accessible version of an endlessly fascinating subject.--Rebecca Donnelly, Loma Colorado Public Library, Rio Rancho, NM

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