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Iceberg by Jennifer A. Nielsen: A Book Review



Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Genre: Children, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Adventure

Publisher: Scholastic

Release Date: March 7, 2023

Pages: 317

Source: My State Public Library

Synopsis: As disaster looms on the horizon, a young stowaway onboard the Titanic will need all her courage and wits to stay alive. A thrilling tale from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen!

    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.

    Bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen weaves an extraordinary tapestry of survival and disaster in this magnificent thriller.

     My Review: Hazel Rothbury is a stopwatch on the Titanic. She also dreams of becoming a journalist when she reaches America and uses Titanic as her big story. While looking for stories to tell on the Titanic, Hazel uncovers details about a heist. Hazel seeks to solve the mystery of the heist. As soon as she solves it, the iceberg hits the Titanic. Could Hazel manage to survive the disaster?

    I wanted to like Hazel, but I found that I could not connect with her. She sounded like a modern-day woman who knew about the fate of the Titanic. This would have made sense if it was a time-travel story, but it wasn’t. I don’t think a child would have been aware of future events. Thus, Hazel seemed like an unconvincing character. She was also very reckless and made many poor decisions. I have to admit that I like her friends better. They seemed more likable. They were kind, clever, honest, and loyal. I wished that the story was told from their perspectives rather than Hazel. Therefore, Hazel made for a very frustrating character. 

    Overall, this novel is about friendship, choices, and survival. All of the characters were well-developed except for Hazel. I did like the setting of the Titanic and the details surrounding the disaster of the Titanic. However, it would have made more sense if Iceberg was  a time-travel story. This made the plot very unbelievable. The story was also very slow though it was very fast-paced towards the end. I also like how it ended. Thus, Iceberg had potential to be a powerful and emotional novel. However, it was not executed well because of the nonsensical plot. Nevertheless, I recommend this novel for fans of Luck of the Titanic, Dear America: Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, and Maiden Voyage!

Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars

Here is the official book trailer for Iceberg:


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