Dangerous Waters

An Adventure on the
Dangerous Waters: An Adventure on the Titanic. 224p. Roaring Brook. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-673-2; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-42996-184-4. LC number unavailable.
Gr 5–8—Patrick Waters, a 12-year-old from Ireland, blesses his luck when he has a chance to work aboard the Titanic, even if his stamina makes him better suited to be a steward than an engine-room trimmer like his older brother James. He develops a friendship with Harry Widener (a real passenger), who encourages him to read and discuss the works of Francis Bacon. They soon realize that Harry's rare copy of Bacon's Essaies has lured two thieves to the ship. Archibald Rockwell yearns to possess the alchemical secrets he believes Bacon encoded within its pages, so he hired John Berryman, an unscrupulous thief and disguise artist, to steal the book. When the vessel hits the iceberg, the struggles for the treasure and for survival merge into a dramatic ending. Patrick and Harry's discussions about Francis Bacon strengthen this lively adventure into a rich novel. Harry's influence helps the boy understand how knowledge can shape a person's life. Mone seamlessly integrates details of the Titanic and its fate into Patrick's story, and his passages about the ocean voyage are vivid, even lyrical. He describes the ocean as "an aquatic desert without a single dune." Secondary characters, including James, Patrick's friend Emily, and the two villains receive thorough treatment and avoid being stock characters. While many children are rapt readers of any Titanic material, Mone's story rises above the standard.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT
Twelve-year-old Patrick lies about his age to get a job aboard the Titanic. He gets more than he bargained for, though, when he finds himself involved in an esoteric scheme to steal a valuable book. With the Titanic's fate looming on the horizon (for readers, at least), Mone's fast-paced and readable adventure sails briskly along to its neatly wrapped-up ending.

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