James Cameron is one of those visionary directors who can change the way one views the world. His movies are not merely blockbusters but immersive world experiences. One of the best examples is the experience of Avatar, where things like disability and the plight of indigenous peoples were underlying themes. Even now, more than ten years after it debuted, it still is part of the public imagination.
Another element in his movies that often gets overlooked is his storytelling ability. H not only pulls you into these worlds, but drawn to these characters. This is what made his movie Titanic so memorable. It had some of us questioning how one would survive something as harrowing as a ship sinking. In Lauren Tarshis‘ I Survived series, she asks this very question. In I Survived The Sinking of the Titanic 1912, we meet one such protagonist who doesn’t know his life is about to change.
We are taken to April 14, 1912, where we meet George Calder and his little sister, Phoebe, who is fortunate enough to be sailing on the Titanic, thanks to his aunt, Daisy, as we soon find out the lost their other due to an accident. The siblings would go exploring on the ship but eventually George would strike out on his own, where he finds trouble in the lower decks, as he runs into an unsavory character, whom he escapes from, but right then, the ship hits an iceberg, causing the ship to take water. George, Phoebe and Aunt Dais would put on their life vests, as a precaution, but as the vessel starts to submerge, their hope starts to dim. They would soon find themselves topside, as they start to evacuate, but unfortunately George gets separated from Aunt Daisy and Phoebe, on the last rescue boat. He would eventually go down with the ship, and would tread water on a door, until a passing boat was within arm’s reach, for him to get into it. Eventually a hospital ship rescues them, and he is reunited with Aunt Daisy and Phoebe. As they arrive in New York City, the kids are reunited with their father, in what should be a happy reunion. Instead, the kids, mostly George, suffer post traumatic stress for most of his life. By the book’s end, George finds solace in his father, as the pain of seeing all those people die, remains tethered to his memories, knowing that he can never forget what happened on the Titanic.
Overall, I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 is an engrossing and thrilling story that gives another view of this traumatic event. The story by Tarshis is compelling. The art by Haus Studio is gorgeous. Altogether, an excellent book that more than enlightens, it humanizes.
Story: Lauren Tarshis Art: Haus Studio
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy