Seven Dead Pirates: A Ghost Story by Linda Bailey
Sixth-grader Lewis Dearborn has a bunch of problems. He's "terminally shy," meaning he hardly talks at school and has no ability to stand up to bully Seth. His great-granddad just passed away and left the spooky, rundown old house on the cliff to his parents. They keep the house only if they live there for six months. His parents are older and over-protective, so they are not enthusiastic about living in the moldy old fixer-upper. Lewis's reputation for being weird is only going to get worse when people find out he lives there. Lewis does get the bedroom at the top of the house's tower, which has spectacular views, old-fashioned toys, and the ghosts of seven pirates. They washed up on the shore after they were tossed overboard by evil pirate Dire two hundred years ago. At first, Lewis is frightened by the ghosts. Eventually, he learns to get along with them. His great-granddad's plan was that Lewis would help the pirates by reuniting them with their ship, which is now on display at the town museum. Can Lewis come up with a plan to get them passed the scary cars and potential onlookers?
The story is very charming. Lewis is a fun protagonist. His school problems are familiar and he handles them with varying degrees of incompetence. Other characters come to the rescue, especially the new girl at school Abbie, whose parents are just as weird. She gets by because she can talk to just about anybody. Lewis grows as a character in expected fashion. His interactions with the pirates and the other people in town (including his parents) are fun. He slowly grows into a more active player in his own life. The ending is action-packed and satisfying.
Recommended--a fun, light book for young and old.