Titanic, Book One: Unsinkable by Gordon Korman (Published by Scholastic, May 1, 2011)
As the Titanic sets sail from Southampton, England on her maiden voyage in April 1912, among the many passengers and crew on board are four young teenagers with very different lives: Juliana, Sophie, Paddy, and Alfie. Juliana and Sophie are two girls who are both traveling in first class. Juliana is traveling with her father, a wealthy earl, on a business trip to New York. She is embarassed by her father, who is often drunk and foolish and wastes money gambling. Like Juliana, Sophie is also embarrassed by the parent she is travelling with. Her mother is a famous suffragette who was thrown out of England and now they must return home to America. Paddy is a pickpocket from the slums of Belfast who accidentally stowed away in some cargo while hiding from gangsters. And Alfie is a young steward who lied about his age so that he could get hired to work on the Titanic.
These four young passengers don't have much in common at first, but they are soon thrown together by events on board the ship. Alfie finds himself helping Paddy so that his own secret of being too young to work on the ship is not revealed. He also learns there may be an infamous murderer on board. Juliana and Sophie thought their biggest worries during the voyage would be dealing with their embarrassing parents and avoiding their boring dinner companion, but soon they too are involved.
Unsinkable is the first book in the newest adventure trilogy by Gordon Korman. He has written several similar series before which I read years ago (I particularly liked his Island and Dive series) though this is his first with a historical setting. As the first book in the series it mostly introduces the characters and their situations, and how they meet on board the ship. All four of the characters are unique and sympathetic, although they are a bit stereotypical at times. The book does end on a cliffhanger, with books two and three to be published in August and September, and I wish it were sooner because I can't wait to find out what happens to these characters. The story of the Titanic is one people have been fascinated by for years and with the 100th anniversary next year I am sure this will be a popular series.