Dear America: Voyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson White (New edition published by Scholastic, November 1, 2010; originally published in 1998)
When Margaret Ann Brady was seven years old, her father died, and her mother died not long after. Eventually, her brother left her at an orphanage in London and immigrated to America, hoping to find a good job there so that he could later pay for Margaret's passage to America and they could be reunited. When Margaret is thirteen, in the spring of 1912, she gets the opportunity to travel to America and join her brother in Boston, in a different way than expected. Mrs. Carstairs, a wealthy American woman, is returning home on the maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic, and wants a companion to keep her company during the voyage. She hires Margaret to be her companion, with passage to America as her payment.
First class on a ship like the Titanic is full of wonders to a young girl like Margaret, who grew up in poverty in a working-class neighborhood in London and later in an orphanage. She enjoys exploring the ship and meets Robert, a handsome young steward working on the ship. But the excitement of the voyage turns to tragedy when the Titanic hits an iceberg and sinks.
I first read this book when it was originally published years ago as part of the Dear America series, which is now being re-released for a new generation of readers. This book wasn’t one of my top favorites from the series, since I was a bit sick of Titanic books at the time - it was first published shortly after the Titanic movie was released, along with a lot of other novels about the Titanic. However, it is still a very enjoyable read, and both new and old fans of the Dear America series are sure to enjoy it.