Book Spotlight: THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS by Claire Legrand

About the Book: Middle Grade Fantasy

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Hardcover: 343 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: August 28, 2012

Blurb:

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. (Source: Goodreads)

About the Author:

Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now a writer, Ms. Legrand can often be found typing with purpose at her keyboard, losing herself in the stacks at her local library, or embarking upon spontaneous adventures to lands unknown. Her first novel is THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, a New York Public Library Best Book for Children in 2012. Her second novel, THE YEAR OF SHADOWS, a ghost story for middle grade readers, is available now. Her third novel, WINTERSPELL, will follow on September 30, 2014, with its prequel e-novella, SUMMERFALL, releasing August 26, 2014. She is one of the four authors behind THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, an anthology of dark middle grade fiction due out May 27, 2014 from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins. Claire lives in New Jersey with a dragon and two cats. Visit her at claire-legrand.com and at enterthecabinet.com. (Source: Amazon)

My Thoughts:

Fans of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline will definitely enjoy this creepy mystery which has a spunky little heroine, Victoria, and an antagonist reminiscent of the Other Mother in Coraline, Mrs. Cavendish. The tone and voice is age-appropriate for Middle Grade readers, and the story paces itself well so that there is never a boring moment. The setting and descriptions add to the something-is-not-quite-right atmosphere  that prevails throughout the book. I’d definitely recommend this to middle grade readers who don’t mind a few scary scenes here and there.

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