Picking up where Unsinkable left off, Collision Course continues the story of Paddy, Alfie, Sophie and Juliana. Paddy has been discovered as a stowaway and must spend most of his time evading capture. Alfie is hot on the heels of a passenger he is certain is Jack the Ripper. The two girls feature far less in this book than in the one previous, appearing infrequently for the first half.
Again, with the excitement and true tragedy of the Titanic, I can’t say that I understand the point of the Jack the Ripper storyline. It seems unnecessarily sensationalist. Also, while I sort of understand Korman wanting to make the point that people are equal despite class, I think it doesn’t give a historically accurate picture of the time period.
As the book closes, the Titanic is taking on water at a great rate and the epilogue states that she is doomed. But of course, we are leave off in the middle of the story, with the third book providing us with the final fates of our characters.
Again, I would recommend this to fourth through sixth graders who could handle the content.
Sex, Nudity, Dating – A father informs his daughter she will be married off to one of the three sons of a business associate.
Profanity – “Lord save us,” “dunderheaded,” “stupid,” “god-awful,” “hell,”
Death, Violence and Gore – Paddy believes his friend Daniel is dead. Two passengers are imprisoned for murder. Paddy and Alfie believe Jack the Ripper (a murderer) is on board the Titanic. Alfie finds a man he believes is Jack the Ripper. That man has a necklace that Alfie decides is carved from human bone. A man was injured badly in a carriage accident that killed two other people. Officers on the boat have pistols. A man raises his hand to slap his daughter. A man grasps a girl by the throat and covers her mouth; he pulls a knife on the girl. A man aims a revolver at two people. A boy is hit in the head.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – The Earl of Glamford gets drunk.
Frightening or Intense Things – A flaming cherries jubilee accidentally sets a table on fire. The ship begins to fill with water. Many people are trapped.