Cover image for White Star : a dog on the Titanic
White Star : a dog on the Titanic
Crisp, Marty.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [2004]

Physical Description:
150 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
Twelve-year-old Sam, a passenger on the Titanic's maiden sea voyage, volunteers to help care for the dogs in the ocean liner's kennel and becomes fast friends with the Irish setter of J. Bruce Ismay, the ship's owner.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.7 4.0 77713.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Sam Harris is on the voyage of a lifetime, traveling to New York on the "Titanic". The gigantic ship has every luxury Sam could think of, but there's only one thing that Sam really wants--the Irish setter on board, named White Star. But White Star belongs to the owner of the White Star Line--he'll never be Sam's. One freezing cold night Sam is jolted out of his sleep by a loud noise. When he sees a huge iceberg form his porthole, he knows something is very, very wrong. Whether Sam escapes or not will depend on the bravery of one faithful dog--White Star. The story of the "Titanic" is one of cowardice and courage, despair and determination, and of an unbreakable bond between a boy and a dog on one terrifying, unforgettable night.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. Twelve-year-old Sam Harris, a passenger on the Titanic, is excited to discover dogs aboard. After living with his grandparents in England for six years, he's understandably nervous about reuniting with his mother in America and meeting his new stepfather. Helping in the kennel brings a welcome distraction--especially when it comes to caring for Star, the Irish setter that belongs to the ship's captain. Star and Sam quickly bond, and when disaster strikes, the boy can't leave the dog behind. Sam is a sympathetic character, and Crisp weaves together fact and fiction as he paints a tragedy-laced survival story of two likable protagonists--a boy and a dog. Along with historical details and a nicely diverse cast of secondary characters, Crisp includes a map, a time line, a diagram of the ship, brief accounts of several real-life Titanic passengers, a reading list, and source notes. A survival story that will appeal to dog aficionados as well as kids interested in the tragedy. --Shelle Rosenfeld Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Crisp meshes real and fictional figures in this middling tale centering on two survivors of the Titanic shipwreck: a 12-year-old boy and the dog belonging to the head of the White Star Line, owner of the doomed liner. When he spies the Irish setter boarding the ship with his master, Sam feels an immediate attachment to the beautiful dog, since he strongly resembles that owned by the boy's father, who died six years earlier. Sam's mother then gave the dog away-and sent her son to stay with his grandparents in England. Now Sam, reluctantly returning to America to live with his mother and new stepfather, finds comfort in the company of the setter-which he calls Star-and delights in helping the cabin boy in charge of the kennel care for him. As the days count down to disaster, Sam crosses paths with other canine passengers and their owners and spends time with his best friend, a likable, happy-go-lucky lad who, a bit too coincidentally, is crossing the Atlantic on the same ship and, a bit too predictably, is not among the survivors. Readers will obviously be pulling for Sam and Star when the two leap overboard as the Titanic begins to sink: Star-again, not surprisingly-buoys up the boy, and the two are rescued by a lifeboat. The characterization, plot and dialogue do not always ring true, but the novel's inherently gripping historical underpinnings, clearly well researched by Crisp, keep the story afloat. Ages 8-12. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-A fresh approach to a popular topic that is both engaging and informative. Sam Harris, 12, is on his way to America to join his mother and new stepfather. A dog lover, he spends the bulk of his time aboard the Titanic in the ship's kennels and forms a strong attachment to the owner's dog, whom he names Star. Readers meet some of the other passengers and observe the strong friendship between Sam and Bucky, the friend who has helped him recover from the death of his father and loss of his mother (who moved back to America six years earlier). Life aboard ship is well described as is the sense of unreality when passengers first hear the call to lifeboats on the fateful night of the disaster. Unlike Eve Bunting's SOS Titanic (Harcourt, 1996), this story continues in the frigid waters as survivors struggle to stay afloat, as well as on the rescue ship Carpathia and back in New York. Sam, still numb from his ordeal, must deal with the anger of Bucky's mother when she realizes that Sam and the dog he loves have survived but her son has not. In a happy ending for Sam, he gets to keep Star and knows that he and his new stepfather are going to get along just fine. Back matter includes a map of the Titanic's voyage, a time line, and biographical sketches of some of the real survivors and victims. A well-researched and competently executed story.-Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.