Dear Canada: That Fatal Night: The Titanic Diary of Dorothy Wilton, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1912 by Sarah EllisDear Canada: That Fatal Night: The Titanic Diary of Dorothy Wilton, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1912 by Sarah Ellis

Dear Canada: That Fatal Night: The Titanic Diary of Dorothy Wilton, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1912

bySarah Ellis

Hardcover | September 1, 2011

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In the aftermath of the Titanic disaster, a young girl must come to terms with haunting memories from the voyage.

It is May 1912, one month after the horrific sinking of the Titanic, and twelve-year-old survivor Dorothy Wilton is sent home from school in disgrace when she strikes another student. Although she's expelled, her sympathetic teacher encourages Dorothy to write an account of her experience on the ship, with the hopes that it will help Dorothy come to terms with her trauma.

And so begins a truly remarkable story, which reads like a time capsule of the era: Dorothy writes about visiting her bohemian grandparents in England before setting sail back home, the luxurious rooms and cabins on board, a new friend she makes, and the intriguing people they observe. However, amidst all of this storytelling, a shadow lurks, a secret Dorothy is too traumatized to acknowledge - a secret about her own actions on that fatal night, which may have had deadly consequences.

Through young Dorothy's eyes, award-winning writer Sarah Ellis expertly takes a unique perspective on the Titanic tragedy, exploring the concept of survivor's guilt with devastating honesty.

SARAH ELLIS is the Governor General's Award-winning author of over a dozen children's books, including the Dear Canada books A Prairie as Wide as the Sea and Days of Toil and Tears. A former librarian, Sarah's respected opinion on children's literature is widely read in publications such as Quill & Quire, The Looking Glass, and The Hor...
Title:Dear Canada: That Fatal Night: The Titanic Diary of Dorothy Wilton, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1912Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 7.66 × 5.54 × 0.66 inPublished:September 1, 2011Publisher:Scholastic Canada LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545980739

ISBN - 13:9780545980739

Appropriate for ages: 9


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I have had this book for a few years and have read it countless times. It is very educational, not as much about the Titanic itself but about the lives of the people on board the ship when it sank. Definitely an amazing book and would recommend it 10/10.
Date published: 2018-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Good, I wish we would've learned more about the Titanic though.
Date published: 2017-07-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Good, I wish we would've learned more about the Titanic though.
Date published: 2017-07-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Meh I have always had a soft spot for Dear Canada books but I feel like the American version went into detail a lot better. This one just skimmed and though I loved the character and that I don't think it should have been characterized as being for the Titanic when it didn't deal with it very much
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not Bad Not bad. Sad as most Holocaust books are but I think it would have been better in real time rather than flashbacks.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I love being able to read Canadian perspectives on events that seem to have much more American standing.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific Not just a story of a Titanic survivor but of an age. Well-written and researched and enjoyable for adults and children.
Date published: 2012-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best in the Series This stunning account of the sinking of the Titanic from a child's perspective is fresh and vibrant. I have used many of the "Dear Canada" books as part of both my English Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum and found them highly effective learning tools. However, "That Fatal Night" has proven to be the jewel in this series, being enthusiastically received by all students. I believe this is because of the accessible writing (appropriate for the target audience) and the rhythm of the story, which holds the reader's attention and keeps the pages turning.
Date published: 2012-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Story of a Titanic Survivor Reason for Reading: Someday I hope to read all the books in this series. This book takes a different point of view than most kid's historical fiction I've read about the Titanic. The book starts a few months after the sinking and we meet Titanic survivor 12 year-old Dorothy, her traveling companion did not survive, something for which she feels guilt and Dorothy doesn't really want to talk about the Titanic anymore. She gets into an altercation at school and is sent home for the remainder of the year. Her teacher brings her home work and a journal where she tells Dorothy to write about her Titanic experience as it may help to put it into perspective for her. Dorothy writes about her life now and her life in England where she was visiting her Grandmother and Grandfather before her fateful journey home, touching on every subject but the one that has redefined her life. Eventually, Dorothy does take the plunge and tells us what it was like for her that evening the "unsinkable" ship The Titanic sunk. An enjoyable story, with much more going for it than just a recounting of the Titanic's final days. We have a full-blown story of a survivor's life, living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. What it was like to deal with being a survivor when so many more had died, the guilt and blame a person throws on themselves. Also daily life in Halifax , 1912 is explored as is rural life in 1912 England. I enjoyed Dorothy's tone of voice in this epistolary novel told through her journal writings. The only thing that bothered me is that she sometimes went into theatre mode and wrote scenes as if she were writing a play script, these were a bit bothersome but they did add some humour. Another good entry to this popular series for girls.
Date published: 2011-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great Dear Canada book. It's May 1912, and twelve-year-old Dorothy Wilton has returned to her home in Halifax after surviving the sinking of the Titanic. She just wants to go back to her normal routine and not talk about what happened, but finds herself expelled from school after hitting another girl who said horrible things about the victims of the disaster. Dorothy's favorite teacher suggests that during her time away from school, she should write a diary about what happened to her, to help her come to terms with her experience. Dorothy begins the story by writing about her trip to England to meet her grandparents. Her grandparents were very kind and their housekeeper had twelve-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, that Dorothy became close friends with during her stay in England. For her journey home, her father got her a ticket on the grandest ship ever built, the Titanic. Dorothy had fun exploring the ship and made a new friend, but hated her traveling companion, Miss Pugh, who worked for Dorothy's father and had agreed to travel with her since she too was visiting a relative in England. Miss Pugh did not survive the disaster, and Dorothy blames herself for her death. That Fatal Night is different than most novels for young readers about the Titanic, since it is set after the sinking and is mainly about a survivor struggling to accept what happened. This book is shorter than most other books in the Dear Canada series, and I think it could have been a bit longer with some more description of Dorothy's time on the Titanic. However, I still really enjoyed it, I love almost anything I read about the Titanic and I really liked that this book offered a unique perspective by being set afterwards. I recommend this book to readers interested in the Titanic or who enjoyed other books from the Dear Canada series.
Date published: 2011-09-11

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Dear Canada: That Fatal Night"[A] story original, witty, playful, moving and rich with insight-wisdom, even. Dorothy's a girl with a very full mind, her observations piquant and memorable...Her sense of guilt is all the more potent for being woven so subtly into her story. Excellent fare." - The Toronto Star"[Readers will] be likely to devour the fact-filled, fascinating historical note Ellis provides at the end of her novel, with 12 pages of archival photos." - The Montreal Gazette"Sarah Ellis is adept at getting into the minds of young girls, especially young girls with gumption, courage, and initiative...[Dorothy is] a memorable heroine and a gutsy girl learning how to cope with the unthinkable...That Fatal Night is a really good book-definitely better than the Hollywood movie! Highly Recommended." - Canadian Review of Materials"The Titanic is done time and time again...But you have not read the Titanic like this before...All in all, a very welcome addition to the Dear Canada family and one of Sarah Ellis' best novels." - Vikki VanSickle, author of Words That Start With B