On Board the Titanic: What It Was Like When the Great Liner Sank


48 pages
Contains Photos, Maps
ISBN 0-590-24895-2
DDC j910'.91634





Illustrations by Ken Marschall
Reviewed by Patricia Morley

Patricia Morley is professor emerita of English and Canadian studies at
Concordia University, and the author of Kurlek, Margaret Laurence: The
Long Journey Home, and As Though Life Mattered: Leo Kennedy’s Story.


Although On Board the Titanic belongs to the “I Was There” series,
author Shelley Tanaka was not aboard the ship on its first and fatal
Atlantic crossing in April 1912, but her account reads as if she was
indeed an observer and participant in this tragic disaster. The Titanic
was the largest ocean-liner built in its time, and proudly boasted that
it was unsinkable.

Drawing on the records of actual survivors, including junior radio
operator Harold Bride and 17-year-old first-class passenger Jack Thayer,
Tanaka skilfully brings these and other characters to life. She creates
a story with a documentary feel and the smell of being there. The book
is well researched, although the list of recommended further reading has
only four items, and features detailed diagrams of the ship, photographs
of some passengers, and reconstructions of just what took place when the
ship collided with the iceberg.

Ken Marschall, a special-effects artist for the film industry, has
illustrated at least three other books on the Titanic. His dramatic
paintings reflect his many years of studying the ship. Highly


Tanaka, Shelley., “On Board the Titanic: What It Was Like When the Great Liner Sank,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/29143.