Ghosts of the Titanic

Ghosts of the Titanic

by Julie Lawson
     
 

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To mark the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, Julie Lawson has written a haunting and suspenseful novel that weaves gripping fiction around fascinating historical fact.

When twelve-year-old Kevin Messenger's father inherits a house in Halifax, Canada, left to him by a complete stranger named Angus Seaton, Kevin decides

Overview

To mark the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, Julie Lawson has written a haunting and suspenseful novel that weaves gripping fiction around fascinating historical fact.

When twelve-year-old Kevin Messenger's father inherits a house in Halifax, Canada, left to him by a complete stranger named Angus Seaton, Kevin decides to investigate. His puzzling discoveries lead to troubling dreams and a voice he can't escape calling to him for help. A parallel narrative tells the dramatic story of Angus Seaton, who worked on one of the ships responsible for recovering bodies and personal effects after the Titanic sank. The two stories converge in a spine-tingling climax as Kevin is transported aboard the sinking Titanic to try to right the wrongs of the past.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Kevin is excited about his class's upcoming field trip to see Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. He has actually completed his project about the subject ahead of schedule and notes fascinating facts in his homework journal. In the meantime, his father unexpectedly inherits property near Halifax. When the family goes there for the summer, Kevin's curiosity leads him to startling information about his father's connection to the Titanic. The ghost of a young woman haunts Kevin until he slips through time to board the sinking ship and save the woman's young son. The complicated plot with shifting points of view is confusing at times. Some of the subplots are distracting and/or prolonged—especially the relationship between Kevin and his father. One of the viewpoints is that of a young sailor aboard the Mackay-Bennett, a ship sent to retrieve bodies from the sea around the wreckage. The scenes depicting the condition of the corpses, the burials at sea, and the unloading of the coffins in Halifax offer a different perspective than most stories about this tragedy. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This book takes readers from the past to the present in a story involving a ghost, a mystery, and time travel. It opens in present-day Victoria, British Columbia, where Kevin and his classmates are visiting the Titanic: Artifact Exhibition as a field trip. Subsequent chapters take readers to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in April 1912, as Ordinary Seaman Angus Seaton works with the crew of a ship charged with recovering the bodies of the Titanic victims. The lives of these two young men intertwine as Kevin in the present day seeks to solve the mystery of why his father inherited the estate of Angus Seaton, a man he did not know. Kevin sets out to quiet the ghost of a girl who haunts him and discovers the far-reaching effects of the tragedy. The action moves quickly, and readers learn about the recovery and identification of victims taken to Halifax. The author's note gives insight into the process of identification as well as the role Canadians had in the recovery effort. A prior knowledge of Titanic history will make this book more appealing as it begins where many other accounts end.—Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD
Kirkus Reviews
Twelve-year-old Kevin, the class clown, may be fascinated by the Titanic disaster, but he doesn't expect to go back in time and live through the shipwreck. Some chapters of this successful introduction to the famous disaster for middle graders take readers to 1912, when 17-year-old Angus Seaton works on a boat out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Sent to pick up the floating bodies from the Titanic, Angus pulls a dead girl from the water and pockets her little purse. He intends to return it to the body but forgets about it for too long. Later her ghost haunts him, crying for her lost baby. When modern-day Kevin's family inherits Seaton's house, Kevin finds the purse and, with it, the ghost. Eventually Kevin finds himself actually on board the sinking Titanic, rushing to find the girl to set her spirit free. Lawson creates a believable class cut-up in Kevin and keeps the narrative moving along whether following Kevin or Angus. Readers see Kevin making poor decisions, but they will also sympathize and like the boy as he chases his obsession with the doomed ocean liner. Although the tone seems light, the events lead to thrilling suspense. Kevin's trip back to the sinking ship places readers at the scene. An exciting and capable introduction to the always-fascinating tale. (Paranormal suspense. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823424238
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2012
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,384,978
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Julie Lawson was an elementary school teacher for eighteen years before becoming a full-time author. She has written nearly two dozen books for young readers, published in Canada, which have garnered many awards and honors, and wide critical acclaim.

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