Ghosts of the Titanic by Julie Lawson

Historical fiction
Ghost story
Reading level 4-7, AR level 4.8 (see review for recommendations)

Kevin Messenger is a disappointment to his teacher. He would rather make the other students laugh than do his work. Kevin is a disappointment to his father. His father reminds him daily. But, Kevin is good at research, especially about the Titanic. That will come in handy when they move to a house near Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the summer. Here, he is visited by the ghost of a mother searching for her dead baby from the Titanic disaster. Kevin figures that the only way to rid himself of the ghost is to find the baby, Michael. He doesn’t realize that it will take a trip back in time to the sinking of the Titanic.

Although the reading level is relatively low, I wouldn’t recommend this book to a young tween. The subject matter deals with a lot of floating dead bodies. The ghost scenes are also spooky. There is also a scene where Kevin inadvertently becomes drunk at a party. For an older tween, this might be a good recommendation for a high interest, low level reader. There are many Titanic facts which are interesting and the story is compelling. Kevin begins the story being the class clown and making some perilous empty headed decisions. Eventually, Kevin works through a difficult period with his father and proves himself worthy of creating his own life plan. But in the meantime, there is a spooky ghost, a mysterious box, and family secrets that need unraveling.

Lawson, J. (2012). Ghosts of the Titanic. New York: Holiday House.