The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls
by Claire Legrand, Illustrated by Sarah Watts
Summary: At the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, you will definitely learn your lesson. A dark, timeless, and heartfelt novel for fans of Coraline and The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster—lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does too.)
But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out…different. Or they don’t come out at all.
If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria—even if it means getting a little messy.
I loved this book! It was wonderful and fun and spooky. A perfect middle grade book that adults can enjoy as well. It’s the kind of book that wants to be read aloud. I can picture an English teacher reading this to her students. The illustrations, including the cover, were wonderful and captured the essence of the story quite well. I’d like to see this book become a movie, actually.
I can’t really explain what it was specifically that made me love this book so much. It was a light story, but also deep and mysterious at the same time. It’s a story that I want to share with others. It’s delightfully spooky, but not gory or too dark for children. I feel like it is on par with Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas and Matilda and things of that nature, while also being unique. And I’m a huge fan of spooky stories that aren’t gory and gross and I find less and less of that these days, so I enjoyed that aspect, too.
Victoria was an interesting character. She’s sort of like Hermoine –always good in school and smart and a bit know-it-all-ish. She’s annoying, but in a way that made her likeable. She was sharp and she had a lot of faith in herself, which I liked. She’s the kind of girl who always does the right thing, which is precisely why she finds herself in the predicament she was in!
I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this story. I would definitely recommend it to others. It’s the kind of story I want to share and own a tattered copy of. My copy is far too new looking!