History's Mysteries

Ship of Dreams

Children - Grade 4th-6th
58 Pages
Reviewed on 05/18/2020
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Author Biography

Best-selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

History's Mysteries: Ship of Dreams is an educational adventure story for children, grades 4-6, written by Donna L Martin and illustrated by Estella Hickman and Donna L. Martin. Margaret wasn’t really all that intrigued by the journal Aunt Alberta gave her for her 10th birthday. She wondered what thoughts she could have that were worth memorializing in a journal? Even as she pondered that, she wrote down her wonderment and awe at the concept of the Titanic, the newest of the White Star Line’s ships. This one was supposed to be the ultimate and had been scheduled to depart on her birthday. For some reason, it hadn’t. Her father assured her that there was nothing wrong with the ship. The Titanic would be sailing by April, and her dad would be sure to give her every possible opportunity to be present while preparations were underway for the launch.

Donna L Martin’s History's Mysteries: Ship of Dreams offers young readers a chance to connect with the era and the enthusiasm that accompanied the maiden voyage of the unsinkable ship, the Titanic. I loved getting the chance to experience the excitement through Margaret’s eyes and especially appreciated how her dad made efforts to ensure that his daughter spent as much time as possible down at the wharf where the ship was to be launched. Martin’s plot is fresh and compelling and the pen and ink sketches that accompany the text are delightful. The tragedy of the Titanic is shared in an empathetic manner, with the loss of life made real by the loss of friends Margaret had made before the sailing, including Sasha, Luigi, and Mr. Andrews. History's Mysteries: Ship of Dreams makes history come alive and brilliantly. It’s most highly recommended.

Rylanne Burdette

History's Mysteries: Ship of Dreams by Donna L Martin is a lovely historical novel for a wide range of child readers. Margaret, a young girl living in Southampton, experiences the excitement of the Titanic being loaded and launched on its maiden voyage to America. Because her dad works at the docks, she has an excuse to watch all the action happen, but there is a bit of uncertainty about when the ship will actually leave because of a coal strike taking place among the miners, and there is not enough coal onboard for the Titanic to sail. The question of when the Titanic will sail is a heavy question on Margaret's mind, but that doesn't stop her from being optimistic and making friends with people who have the opportunity to be aboard the grand ship when it sails.

History's Mysteries: Ship of Dreams was such a cute story with great plot development and rounded characters. The story was interwoven with real people from history and fictional characters, and that was one of my favorite aspects of this short book. Every chapter flowed together, and I loved learning more about history while reading from the sweet perspective of Margaret. Even though her family struggled and ran out of coal for their house for a short period of time, Margaret still kept a positive attitude and spent time at the docks with her friend Sasha before he left on his journey, rather than dwelling on the situation at home. Donna L Martin has crafted an elegant work, rich in history and action. I really enjoyed this book!