Although classified as nonfiction and according to the afterward, is based on Ruth's own story, there is no way to tell if the stilted conversations in this book are from something Ruth said or wrote, or were made up by the author. When a publisher puts the words "story by Marybeth Lorbiecki" on the cover of the book, it makes it look suspiciously as if the author made things up. This was often done with children's biographies of yore, but nowadays teachers and librarians expect everything in a biography, even a picture book biography, to be based on fact and the sources named in the back of the book. It would have been more satisfactory if the author's note had been more specific about her source. Was it an audio or video of Ruth telling her story in 1982 at the Titanic Historical Society convention? Or was it from something written by Ruth?
Once the iceberg strikes the ship (which Ruth did NOT see), the writing improves greatly with descriptions so vivid you know this must be the tale of someone who saw it happen.