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Ghosts of the Titanic

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  339 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
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. Hi
Hardcover, 169 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Holiday House (first published January 1st 2011)
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Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
When Kevin's dad inherits property in Nova Scotia, the family spends some vacation time there – and Kevin encounters something unexpected – a ghost – the same one that haunted his relative who lived in the house before.

Kevin really gets into researching the history surrounding the Titanic; I liked how it showed that kids can have fun doing doing projects like that. After I finished reading the book, I was all interested in the topic, fully ready to go read something else on the tragic sinking a
Jennifer Rayment
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jake's Review: DNF - Too scary for me. BTW, Mom you really have a weird fascination for that ship. Guys my Mom got me a Titanic model and she used to sing me the Titanic song all the time and wonders why I don't like swimming. And FYI don't ever get her started on that "travesty of an animated movie where all the Titanic passengers are saved" -- she won't shut up for hours about that!
Jake's Rating: N/A

Mom's Review: I should have known better than to try and give Jake a ghost story to review, but
Patricia O'Sullivan
Kevin Messenger is a disappointment. He knows this because his father reminds him of it every day. But Kevin is not interested in soccer like his Dad is, and Kevin is not as compliant a student as his older sister, Courtney. Only his mother cuts him a break and that’s because she’s being nice. But everything changes when Dad gets a mysterious letter from the estate of Angus Seaton, informing him he’s inherited a seaside house near Halifax. Determined to show his father how useful he is by solvin ...more
Tatyana Heafey
it was really good but she took to long in the beggining with the intro
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kevin is a bit of a prankster and joker, not taking life very seriously. He feels like he's living in the shadow of his father's soccer legacy, and the feeling of being compared to him and following in his shoes. It also doesn't help that his older sister seems to be a natural at playing soccer as well. Now his family is going away for the summer to a property that they inherited and his parents don't even know who it is that owned the place. He is not too happy about the situation, when all he ...more
Ms. Yingling
When Kevin finds out that he has to travel to Halifax from British Columbia because his father has inherited a house from Angus Seaton, he is not happy and starts to act up in school. When his class is preparing to visit a Titanic exhibition, he gets in trouble for singing... the Titanic song! Seaton turns out to be a crewman on the Mackay-Bennet and helped retrieve bodies after the ship went down, helping to identify the bodies before giving them a burial at sea. Chapters then alternate between ...more
Ghosts of the Titanic by Julie Lawson

There are many stories about the Titanic and its survivors. There's hardly ever been any stories about how the bodies of those passengers who had died were retrieved from the icy cold waters of the Atlantic. Two weeks after the Titanic had sunk, seventeen year old Angus Seaton takes a job hauling the dead bodies of those that did not survive the Titanic. One of the bodies was that of a young woman who had a purse with a locket inside fell out of her body. Ang
If you just can't get enough about the Titanic, here is another perfectly acceptable choice for your reading pleasure. Two parallel stories (one present day; one back at the time of the Titanic disaster) meet at the end when Kevin, the present-day protagonist, goes back in time to the sinking ship to "right the wrongs of the past." The problem is that the "sin" wasn't really that bad and the mix of ghosts, realism, and parallel story lines doesn't completely mesh. I also never could really figur ...more
Jaime Leroy
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-school
Kevin, who lives in present day British Columbia, goes on a school field trip to a Titanic Artifacts exhibit. In later chapters, we travel back to the fateful day in April 1912 when Angus Seaton, an ordinary seaman, is charged with helping to recover the bodies of the Titanic victims. Through this unique perspective, we see the tragedy of the titanic through a seldom thought about set of eyes. In the present, Kevin is determined to find out why his father inherited Angus Seaton’s home even thoug ...more
I really enjoyed this book!! It had the perfect amount of suspense building up. I loved the entire book! This story is about a boy named Kevin Messenger that is a bit of a class clown. He and his dad do not get along because his dad loves soccer but Kevin hates being forced to play on the school team. Kevin's sister, Courtney, gets along perfectly with their dad because she is a soccer star. Kevin's mom loves them both equally and tries to ensure that Kevin's dad does not go too far in getting ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ghosts of the Titanic is, without a doubt, the best fictional retelling of the R.M.S. Titanic that I've read. It delicately balances the truth of the tragedy with the fantasy of fiction, paying solemn tribute to the lives lost while crafting a captivating page-turner. Given that the Titanic sank over 100 years ago and it's become so embedded in popular culture thanks to James Cameron, sometimes it's hard to remember that the sinking of the Titanic was nothing short of tragic. More than 1,500 peo ...more
May 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: juv, ghost, historical, titanic
Kevin is a careless, less-than-serious boy who gets into trouble a fair amount and whose relationship with his father is rocky. He dislikes soccer but his gym teacher/soccer star dad refuses to listen. Then the family inherits a house in Halifax. Kevin does like the Titanic, and is fascinated to learn of Halifax's connection to the disaster, as well as of their house's previous owner's role in the body recovery. But almost immediately, Kevin is singled out by a ghost, who wants to know where her ...more
Mel Raschke
Kevin is the class clown of his seventh-grade class and, in his eyes, a disappointment to his family. One subject has him rapt, though: the school unit on the Titanic. When an old house is mysteriously left to Kevin’s father in a stranger’s will, the family heads up to Halifax to spruce up the old place. That’s when a ghostly woman’s voice begins asking Kevin, “Where’s Michael?” Intercut with this story is the tale of 17-year-old Angus, a young seaman in 1912 whose boat, the Mackay-Bennett, is t ...more
Ian King
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this is a tween - teen story, I really enjoyed it. It follows a boy Kevin who is into the Titanic school project they are doing. His father ends up inheriting a big old, rundown house near the coast and far away feom their own home.
The mystery of how they inherited the house and who it was that lived there before (gone mad!) is revealed in a facinating way.
Kevin himself ends up nearly going mad himself as the ghost begins to reveal herself.
She is looking for her son, lost during the si
Dec 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Three stars means "liked it," according to Goodreads. I liked Ghosts of the Titanic. It was better than ok -- but not much. What I liked was the mystery surrounding Kevin's dad's inheritance of the house. I liked Kevin, too. What I didn't like was the writing, or more accurately, the storytelling. Kevin's family was populated exclusively by cardboard characters, and the relationship between Kevin and his dad was drawn with two crayons. The author needed Kevin to be at odds with his family, to be ...more
Description: Kevin's family inherits a home in Nova Scotia, and he is haunted by a ghost when they move in to the property. His encounters take us back to the Titanic and connect the people of the past with our modern world.

Reaction: Books about the Titanic are popular now, and this one is an interesting read for the intermediate level. I like the focus on the Canadian connection and the curious nature of the main character.

Recommended Level: Intermediate

Subjects/Themes: ghosts, titanic

Christine (KizzieReads)
This is the story of a boy and his family who were left a house in Nova Scotia by a man they didn't know. They travel there from Victoria to research what they can of the house and the man who left it to them.

Kevin, the son, finds out very quickly, that he is hearing and seeing a ghost of a mysterious girl who has lost her son. The story does do a little time travel and has two points of view. His, and the man who left them the house.

I enjoyed this book. The writing was nice, but I felt it could
Veda Sorrells
As a library assistant in an elementary school, I always have children asking me what books I would recommend. I have a few favorite authors of children's books, such as Margaret Peterson Haddix and Peg Kehret book I am always looking for something new to read. There will always be the classics of course! I truly enjoyed reading "Ghosts of the Titanic". Very good book from start to finish, and if any child asks for a recommendation, I will gladly suggest for them to read this book, especially if ...more
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really good. Kevin annoyed me in the start but as he matured I grew to like him. It's a really sad story and the most gripping part was when he was on the ship and was trying to save Annie and baby Michael. It was a sort of mystery story really, when in the end you found out who everyone really was. I was quite surprised to learn that Angus Seaton had no relation to the Messenger Family and then again to find out that Michael was adopted by Margaret Dyson. Overall, this book was gr ...more
Jan 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only read this because my mom asked me to read it so that we could discuss it. My assumption is that she wants to discuss how poorly it's written. The tone is erratic, the dialogue unrealistic, and the characters wooden and unlikable. The children are not pitched correctly and the adults are all caricatured as incompetent buffoons.

While I take no pleasure in writing wholly negative reviews, I could find not a redeeming quality about this book.
Purnima Bhagria
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book was amazing i loved all of the spooky parts of the book and also loved how they try to find the ghost on the ship i recommend this book to people who like spooky books and are into the ghost hunting thing but for me i am positive that i love this book even though spooky is not my thing this is the only book i LOVE!!
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin’s family inherits some waterfront property in Halifax by a man they don’t know named Angus Seaton. Kevin then becomes determined to find out why his family received the property and why a woman in black haunts him asking about her son Michael. He soon realizes it all has to do with the sinking of the Titanic!
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A combination of historical fiction and ghost story, this book tells of a young seaman serving on the McKay Bennett, the ship that picked up the bodies from the Titanic. Fast forward to present day and a young man who is haunted by the ghost of a young woman who lost her life on the Titanic. Lots of interesting Titanic information and a pretty satisfying ghost story.
I found this book really interesting. BTW I finished reading this book last week. I had to write a report on it so ya. I recommand people to read this book. it may not be scary but ya. I don't want to spoil it so READ THE BOOK!
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me reading in class and addicted i couldnt take my eye off of it these descriptive kinds of books are the reason i like to read. And julie Lawson is a good Author too she came to our school she is amazing.
Karen Arendt
Kevin's rude behavior toward his father and the interactions between father and son are a bit much, but the ghost story and mystery are very exciting. Will appeal to fans of the Titanic and ghost story lovers as well.
Diane Heath
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
A well written novel that intertwines the story of the Titanic and the Mackey-Bennett which recovered the bodies of the victims now buried in Halifax with that of 12 year old Kevin learning of the Titanic in school due to the discovery of the wreck
Cynthia Egbert
This is not a terribly well written book but the subject matter is fascinating and I learned a great deal about another side of the Titanic tragedy. As a ghost story it was just "meh" but as a piece of historical fiction it was definitely worth a read.
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was skeptical at first but I really got drawn into the back story of the recovery of bodies, a part of the disaster you don't hear much about. That then swept me into the main story. It was still a bit predictable but there were some surprises along the way.
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Julie Lawson is the award-winning author of many books for young people. Her novels include White Jade Tiger (winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Book Literature Prize and nominated for both the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award and the Silver Birch Award), Destination Gold, and The Ghost of Avalanche Mountain. Among her acclaimed picture books are The Dragon’s Pearl, Emma and the Silk ...more

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