In this 100th anniversary year of the sinking of the Titanic, there have been plenty of books published to choose from. Nonfiction, fiction, picturebooks, books for older readers, and ones for adults. Some blend fact and fiction together. This is one, and it's a good read.
Twelve-year-old Kevin can't do anything right. He messes up at school, his father is always disappointed in him, and his sister is the golden-child. When he finds out his family is making him go to Nova Scotia for the entire summer, he's none-too-pleased. His dad has inherited a house for some unknown reason, and they are going to check it out. What Kevin discovers in the house leads him to research and a fantastic Titanic-based ghost story of which he becomes a part.
This fantasy/mystery incorporates facts from the sinking of the great ship and imagines the story of a passenger, Annie, intertwined with a young seaman, Angus, who was involved with the rescue/clean up efforts. Kevin's own story becomes intertwined with Annie and Angus's and he finds he isn't just a mess-up, like his family and teachers believe.
Lawson provides a tight plot line, clear descriptions, and a puzzle-piece mystery that comes together with appropriate pacing and causes the reader to gasp and exclaim with delight as each discovery unfolds. Don't let the cheesy cover of the book discourage potential middle-grade readers.