Call of the Titanic

Call of the Titanic

By Author / Illustrator

Lindsay Galvin


Historical Fiction

Age range(s)



Chicken House Ltd




Paperback / softback




From the bestselling author of Darwin's Dragons and My Friend the Octopus comes an exciting historical adventure - with a touch of magic - set aboard the Titanic ... '[A] compelling adventure ... Superb.' The Times, Book of the Week.

Young cabin steward, Sid, is proud to be working on the Titanic, the greatest stream liner ever built. Clara dreams of adventure at sea, and discovers it the hard way as a stowaway on a much smaller ship, the Carpathia. Here, she meets a giant bear of a dog, Rigel, who has a reputation for mischief. What none of them can foresee is how they'll need each other on the night Titanic collides with an iceberg. Or that an even more extraordinary creature might also answer their call...

The third middle-grade historical adventure from the author of Darwin's Dragons and My Friend the Octopus. This is a new spin on the sinking of the Titanic, offering an uplifting alternate history of real-life survivor, Sid Daniels. A touching animal friendship lies at the heart of the story, as well as hints of mythology, which showcases Lindsay Galvin's trademark combination of exciting adventure, real-life history and a magical twist.

PRAISE FOR DARWIN'S DRAGONS: 'A striking and original adventure ... just the sort of story I love.' EMMA CARROLL 'WHAT a voyage! [Darwin's Dragons] is everything you hope it will be ...' LUCY STRANGE '[A] beautifully fictionalised story' THE TELEGRAPH



Call of the Titanic is one of the best books I have read about the infamous Titanic. It is a gripping adventure story of stowaway Clara who befriends an enormous dog - Rigel. The story tells the tale of the special friendship formed between the two when the Titanic collides with an iceberg and the vital efforts many went through to rescue the survivors of the shipwreck.

The book is a mix of nonfiction facts and storytelling entwined with elements of myths and legends, which makes it a gripping new take on a well-known story. The friendship between the two characters is endearing and Rigel now maybe one of my favorite literary animals of all time.

Call of the Titanic would be brilliant for children aged eight and over either as a book to read themselves or to be shared with a parent or adult in school. I know my class would thoroughly enjoy this story as our class read and it would suit our Year 5 topic, which delves into the story of the Titanic. I also think it would be a shame if adults didn't read this book and cast it aside as a 'children's book' as it really is a great story!

320 pages / Reviewed by Lisa Watkins, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


Call of the Titanic is told from the viewpoints of two children; Clara, who is an accidental stowaway on the Carpathia, and Sid, working as a steward on the Titanic. In April 1912 they will cross paths as the story of the Titanic unfolds. Both children come from completely different worlds; Clara from a farm in the US and Sid from England, already working at 15. There is also a fantastic dog called Rigel, who is a real hero, and who is based on a real dog.

Stories of the Titanic are plentiful, but this manages to be entirely original, and knowing what happens only adds to the tension. Lindsay Galvin writes a special kind of historical novel, one where extraordinary things happen that just might be true. Her other books have also had this element, with fantasy mixed into the historical details.  This book is all the more extraordinary for it being mainly about real people and something the captain of the Carpathia actually believed he saw at sea.

Sid's view is written in the form of evidence at the enquiry held after Titanic sank. He was a real person but was never asked to give evidence, so Lindsay Galvin is able to recreate what might have happened to him, complete with historical evidence. Some of this is quite harrowing and vivid and captures the mood of the time brilliantly.

The cover illustrations by Gordy Wright and the inside cover with snippets of historical documents are a familiar treat from the other books Lindsay Galvin has written, which I have enjoyed, but this one is the best so far. The meticulous historical detail, combined with two exciting stories told in two different ways, brings the whole thing to life and really impresses the reader with how dreadful the tragedy of the Titanic was for all those involved and the shock it sent around the world. 

320 pages / Reviewed by Jacqueline Harris, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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