Monday, May 22, 2023

ICEBERG by Jennifer A. Nielsen -- an exciting adventure with a 12-year-old aspiring journalist


Why this book?

The story of the Titantic is always intriguing. I was drawn to the idea of a stowaway aboard the ship--and what an interesting character she turned out to be! Hazel’s dream of being a journalist was a great way to bring in bits of the history of what happened to the Titantic. There was also a storyline of Hazel collecting information to solve a mystery about some swindlers she came across on board. The friends Hazel makes give us different perspectives on life at the time of the Titantic. From a writer’s perspective, I think this would be a great read for anyone writing historical fiction. It’s a wonderful example of how to incorporate history into a compelling story!  

Connections: mysteries, the Titantic, journalism, adventure, icebergs

Activity Ideas:

Literacy: What are some of the clues Hazel collected about what was going to happen to the Titantic?

Discussion: Consider Mrs. Abelman’s statement: “We must live the best we can until we gracefully accept our fate.” Do you think Hazel had any regrets about any of her actions on the Titantic? Was there something she could have done differently?

STEM: Look up Morse Code and try to write a coded message to a friend. Tap it out and see if your friend can decode your message.

STEAM: Create a piece of art using a collage technique that contains a coded message.

STEM: Make a list of the things Hazel learned about icebergs. Write three question you have about icebergs. Do some research to see if you can find out the answers. Or research the question: What are some ways ships can avoid or be protected from colliding with icebergs?

Additional Resources: 

Also by Jennifer A. Nielsen and still one of my favourites is The False Prince (click here for my thoughts)

 Description from the publisher:   

Hazel Rothbury is traveling all alone from her home in England aboard the celebrated ship Titanic. Following the untimely death of her father, Hazel's mother is sending her to the US to work in a factory, so that she might send money back home to help her family make ends meet.

But Hazel harbors a secret dream: She wants to be a journalist, and she just knows that if she can write and sell a story about the Titanic's maiden voyage, she could earn enough money to support her family and not have to go to a sweatshop. When Hazel discovers that mother didn't send her with enough money for a ticket, she decides she must stow away onboard the storied ship.

With the help of a porter named Charlie and a sweet first-class passenger named Sylvia, Hazel explores the opulent ship in secret, but a haunting mystery quickly finds her. The danger only intensifies when calamity strikes, and readers will be caught up in the terror and suspense alongside Hazel as she fights to save her friends and herself.


Iceberg, written by Jennifer A. Nielsen was published by Scholastic Press in 2023.



To find more middle grade books to read, check out Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, organized by Greg Pattridge over at his blog.


1 comment:

  1. This sounds fabulous. I have read a couple other books by this author and have enjoyed them. Definitely need to check this one out. Thanks for sharing. :)


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