Titanic 2020

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Titanic 2020
Titanic 2020.jpg
AuthorColin Bateman
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesTitanic 2020
GenreCrime, young adult
PublisherHodder Children's
Publication date
19 July 2007 (2007-07-19)
Media typePrint (Softcover)
Followed byTitanic 2020: Cannibal City

Titanic 2020 is the first novel of the Titanic 2020 series by Northern Irish author, Colin Bateman, published on 19 July 2007 through Hodder Children's Books.[1]


The novel in based in the year 2020 and follows a stowaway named Jimmy Armstrong and his journey on the brand new and purportedly "unsinkable" cruise ship Titanic.

Jimmys great-grandfather was on the original RMS Titanic and drowned when it sank. During a school trip Jimmy misses his chance to see the newly built Titanic and so decides to return later that night to take a look by himself. The ship leaves port at this point, making Jimmy an unwitting stow-away on the ship's maiden voyage from Belfast to Miami. Discovered by a crew member, Jimmy is brought before the Captain and, given their distance from shore, is ordered to work his passage on the ship's newspaper, the Titanic Times. At the same time, an incurable disease is quickly spreading around the world resulting in widespread rioting and panic.[2]


  • Jimmy Armstrong - protagonist teenage stowaway
  • Claire - spoilt daughter of the owner of the Titanic
  • Scoop - editor of the Titanic Times
  • Jeffers - first officer of the Titanic
  • Pedroza - chef of the Titanic
  • Captain Smith - captain of the Titanic
  • Dr Hill - on board doctor of the Titanic
  • Mr Stanford - owner of the Titanic and Claire's father


The novel was originally based around a cruise ship named The Emperor of the Seas, after a ship that Bateman himself had been on.[3]


It has all the ingredients of a maritime escapade, including pirates, mutineers and desperate getaways that Colin Bateman, author and screenplay writer, describes in cinematic style.

Simon Barrett, Just Imagine[4]

In 2011, Titanic 2020 was selected as one of ten titles to be issued free as part of World Book Day in Laredo, Cantabria.[5]

The novel was well received by reviewers.

Keith O'Sullivan, for Inis Magazine called Titanic 2020 Bateman's "most accomplished [Children's novel] to date". He further found that Bateman "convincingly develops the relationships between his central characters"; calling the "well conceived narrative": "innovative" in its storytelling, "subtle" in its cultural and literary references and adventurous in "the twists and turns in its plot".[6] Simon Barrett, for Just Imagine, called it "an adrenalin-fuelled, fun adventure", calling the dialogue "witty" and finding that "the situational comedy is often of a black nature that will amuse young people". Barrett did comment that he "groaned when I read the title", although found that "any homage to the film is simply the starting point for Colin Bateman's imagination and fantastic story-telling".[4] Author James Lovegrove, in a review for the Financial Times found that "this fast-paced ocean-going adventure never wallows in the doldrums".[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The novel was short-listed for the 2008 Bisto Book of the Year Awards and the Bolton Children's Book Award in the same year.[7][8][9] Titanic 2020 also won "Book of the Year" at the Rotherham children's writing awards.[10]


  1. ^ Titanic 2020 (Book, 2007). WorldCat. OCLC 132295374.
  2. ^ a b Lovegrove, James (11 August 2007). "Titanic 2020". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 May 2012.(registration required)
  3. ^ Bateman, Colin. "Titanic 2020". Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b Barrett, Simon (22 August 2007). "Titanic 2020: Selecting the Best Books for Home and School". Just Imagine. Archived from the original on 6 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Las bibliotecas de los IES Fuente Fresnedo y Bernardino liberan 10 títulos para conmemorar el Día del Libro". Europa Press. 20 minutos. 23 April 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2012.(in Spanish)
  6. ^ O'Sullivan, Keith (Summer 2008). "Review - Titanic 2020". Inis Magazine (#24). Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Roddy Doyle makes Book Award Shortlist". RTÉ.ie. RTÉ. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  8. ^ Bray, Allison (27 March 2008). "Roddy's latest book up for top award". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  9. ^ Chaudhari, Saiqa (23 January 2008). "Children to pick the Bolton Children's Book Award". The Bolton News. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  10. ^ "Bateman scoops book prize". Daily Mirror. TheFreeLibrary.com. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2012.

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