Roswell resident Cassie Jones and her friend and business partner, Cheryl Muré of Buckhead, penned “Ahoy, Titanic! A Child’s Tour of the Great Ship” for children ages 4 through 8.
The story follows Willa and Sam Vaughn as they and their parents embark on the ship’s maiden voyage.
“Children are always fascinated by superlatives, the biggest, the best, the longest, the tallest. Titanic was all that and more,” Jones said.
“The book focuses on the very first day the ship set sail, when excitement and curiosity about Titanic were at an all-time high. Titanic’s luxury and technology had been hyped for months leading up to its departure, and passengers like the Vaughan family in the story could finally see it for themselves on April 10, 1912.
“Ahoy, Titanic!” is primarily a historical fiction picture book, she said. Fun facts featured on each page of the story provide more detail into life on board and are written with older readers in mind, as are the mini-biographies of the passengers and crew that appear at the end of the book.
Readers learn the fate of all the passengers and crew — including a dog named “Kitty” — that they meet along the way.
The story highlights the magnificence of the great ship as readers follow along with two children exploring actual locations and meeting real passengers and crew on board, Jones said. “We carefully selected the people and places featured in the book to appeal to children as curious as Willa and Sam.”
A social studies teacher for many years before getting into museum education, Jones met Muré when they worked together writing curriculum and supporting educational materials for museum exhibitions.
In addition to classroom teaching experience, Muré has traveled the world speaking to museums, media, and school groups about Titanic.
At the beginning of 2011, the two founded TurnKey Education, Inc. to create original, interdisciplinary field trip resources for student groups of all ages and abilities. The information covers museums, traveling exhibitions and field trip destinations world wide. Titanic was one of the topics.
“We spent many years writing materials for children and teachers about the ship, and it seemed like a natural progression to share our interest in the story with a younger age group,” Jones said. “We noticed there were fewer books about Titanic written for younger children and emerging readers.
“It’s been a labor of love professionally and personally for both of us, and we’re thrilled that people are enjoying reading the book as much as we enjoyed writing it.”
Jones and her husband have lived in Roswell for almost 10 years and now have two young daughters. The character of Willa in the books is named after their first child, who died in 2007. The character of Sam is named for Muré’s father.
“Ahoy, Titanic!” is $16.99 and is available at www.ahoytitanic.com.