Monday, March 12, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Ghosts of the Titantic

Today’s pick:  Ghosts of the Titantic  by Julie Lawson

Scholastic Canada, 2011

From the Book Jacket:
Where’s Michael?
Has his body been taken by the sea?
What have you done, robber of the dead?

Kevin gagged with fear, his heart pounding in his throat. The girl was close enough for him to see her pale face, her wide, searching eyes. She was blaming him. Her arms reached out towards him. She wanted to punish him, to drag him under . . .

What was her connection to the Titanic? And how could he escape from a ghost?

Kevin isn’t happy that he has to go and live in Halifax, just because his father has inherited a house from a mysterious man named Angus Seaton. As Kevin copes with living in a new place and dealing with his father’s criticisms, he becomes more and more interested in the mystery of Angus Seaton. Especially after Kevin starts to suspect he’s being haunted. Meanwhile, a second, intertwined story tells of Angus Seaton, a crewman on the Mackay-Bennett, who helped retrieve bodies and identify bodies after the Titantic went down. In the end, Kevin pieces together the story of the inheritance and how it’s connected to Seaton, the Titantic and a young female ghost.

My Take: 
I enjoyed the mystery of how the different pieces of the story fit together. It was interesting to read the historical details of the Titantic sinking and how the bodies were retrieved. Although the ghost and ending of the story seemed a bit contrived, I liked the way Kevin tried to figure out the mystery of how the house and ghost were connected to him. There were some spooky moments with the ghost to keep up the suspense!

Other Info:
Julie Lawson says that writing a book is like travelling: “When I start out with my characters, I never know what's going to happen. I explore and make discoveries.”

This book is nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading in the Silver Birch (Fiction) category for 2012. I’ve profiled some of the other nominated books:  Neil Flambe and the Aztec Abduction, That Boy Red, The Glory Wind, Ghost Messages, and Undergrounders.
Other books by this author include:

White Jade Tiger
Fires Burning
Danger Game
Destination Gold

The Gold Stone Trilogy:
Turns on a Dime
The Ghost of Avalanche Mountain

Books in the Dear Canada series:
A Ribbon of Shining Steel
No Safe Harbour
Where the River Takes Me
A Christmas to Remember
A Season for Miracles

And many picture books, such as The Klondike Cat, Kate’s Castle, Bear on the Train and My Grandfather Loved the Stars.

For more, go to Julie Lawson’s website. 

Looking for more MMGM? Check out these links:

  • Joanne Fritz @ My Brain on Books
  • Shannon Messenger @ Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe
  • Shannon O'Donnell @ Book Dreaming
  • Sherrie Petersen @ Write About Now
  • Brooke Favero @ Somewhere in the Middle
  • Myrna Foster @ Night Writer
  • Ally Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy
  • Barbara Watson @ Novel and Nouveau
  • Deb Marshall @ Just Deb!
  • Anita Laydon Miller's Middle Grade Blog
  • Michael G-G @ Middle Grade Mafioso
  • Natalie Aguirre @ Literary Rambles
  • Ms. Yingling @ Ms. Yingling Reads
  • Jennifer Rumberger
  • Pam Torres @ So I'm Fifty
  • Mary @ Writer's Butt Does Not Apply to Me
  • The Accidental Novelist
  • G.S. Prendergast @ Angelhorn
  • Gina Carey
  • Nye Louwen - My Spirit

    1. Big bonus points to this one for including the Titanic camp song! I've read so many Titanic books recently, and this is the only one that addressed that really sad, vulgar bit of my youth! My children didn't believe me that we really sang it at camp and didn't find it morbid!

    2. This seems quite intriguing :) I wanna read it now.

    3. Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing it. I hadn't heard of it.

    4. I have a copy of this one its way to me even as I type--I'm looking forward to it!

    5. We have this on our Titanic display table at the bookstore (yeah, it's kind of morbid to remember something that dreadful -- but the 100th anniversary is coming up..). Of course, I haven't had a chance to read it yet. So thanks for the recommendation!

    6. I've probably said this before here when you've chosen a book tied to history, but I LOVE books that piece history with a new twist on the story. Sounds like a good one!

    7. I was going to say, "What's with all these Titanic books?" but Joanne answered it for me. The centenary!

      Nonetheless, I love books with ghosts, so will have to track this one down. Thanks, Andrea.

    8. I haven't heard of this book, but my 9 yo might be interested in it. He's fascinated with the Titanic.


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