The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

Claire Legrand, 1986-

Book - 2012

Practically-perfect twelve-year-old Victoria Wright must lie, sneak, and break the rules when her investigation of the disappearance of her best--and only--friend, Lawrence, reveals dark secrets about her town and the orphanage run by the reclusive Mrs. Cavendish.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers c2012.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
viii, 343 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
ISBN
9781442442917
1442442913
Main Author
Claire Legrand, 1986- (-)
Other Authors
Sarah (Sarah Lynn) Watts, 1986- (illustrator)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The too-serene-to-be-true town of Belleville harbors some creepy secrets in Legrand's debut, a sinister and occasionally playful tale of suspense. Twelve-year-old perfectionist Victoria Wright has bouncy curls, a fixation on achieving straight As, and just one friendâ??unkempt, artistic Lawrence, who she considers her "personal project." But when Lawrence disappears, and Victoria launches an investigation to find him, she discovers more frightening trouble than she imagined. Victoria unravels the mystery behind the titular home for children, which is run by the ageless Mrs. Cavendish and a fiendish gardener/assistant. Hair-raising adventures involving slimy hidden passageways, pinching swarms of cockroaches, mystery meat, and the wrath of cruel Mrs. Cavendish fill the pages. Legrand gives Victoria's mission a prickly energy, and her descriptions of the sighing, heaving homeâ??a character in itselfâ??are the stuff of bad dreams. Watts's b&w illustrations of spindly characters, cryptic shadows, and cramped corridors amplify the unsettling ambiance, and her roach motif may have readers checking their arms. Ages 10â??up. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

The too-serene-to-be-true town of Belleville harbors some creepy secrets in Legrand's debut, a sinister and occasionally playful tale of suspense. Twelve-year-old perfectionist Victoria Wright has bouncy curls, a fixation on achieving straight As, and just one friendâ??unkempt, artistic Lawrence, who she considers her "personal project." But when Lawrence disappears, and Victoria launches an investigation to find him, she discovers more frightening trouble than she imagined. Victoria unravels the mystery behind the titular home for children, which is run by the ageless Mrs. Cavendish and a fiendish gardener/assistant. Hair-raising adventures involving slimy hidden passageways, pinching swarms of cockroaches, mystery meat, and the wrath of cruel Mrs. Cavendish fill the pages. Legrand gives Victoria's mission a prickly energy, and her descriptions of the sighing, heaving homeâ??a character in itselfâ??are the stuff of bad dreams. Watts's b&w illustrations of spindly characters, cryptic shadows, and cramped corridors amplify the unsettling ambiance, and her roach motif may have readers checking their arms. Ages 10â??up. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5–8—A paradigm of perfection-with straight As, gleaming blond curls, and an unshakable sense of purpose-12-year-old Victoria expects everything and everyone to be just so. Friends are particularly messy, so she has opted to have only one. Lawrence is a disheveled, music-loving dreamer whom she views as a "personal project" in need of fixing. When Lawrence goes missing, Victoria investigates and soon unearths dreadful secrets lurking beneath the surface of her picture-perfect community. The adults are behaving oddly, numerous children have disappeared, and nasty creepy-crawlies are popping up everywhere. Victoria's sleuthing leads her to the local orphanage and into the flawlessly manicured grasps of Mrs. Cavendish, the malevolent, magic-using headmistress who snatches less-than-perfect children from their homes and reforms them through a nightmare-inducing regime of physical and psychological punishments. Once Victoria uncovers the awful truth, she must face her own greatest fears-and also learn to reach out to others-to save the day. Beginning with the uneasy realization that things are not quite right, gradually incorporating disquieting discoveries, and escalating into full-out horror (the children are fed chopped-up body-part casseroles), the suspense and sense of dread build to the satisfying (and also unsettling) conclusion. Shadow-filled black-and-white illustrations and the occasional bug scampering across the text intensify the eeriness. Insidiously creepy, searingly sinister, and spine-tinglingly fun, this book also presents a powerful message about friendship and the value of individuality.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal [Page 123]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Practically-perfect 12-year-old Victoria Wright must lie, sneak and break the rules when her investigation of the disappearance of her best--and only--friend, Lawrence, reveals dark secrets about her town and the orphanage run by the reclusive Mrs. Cavendish.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Practically-perfect twelve-year-old Victoria Wright must lie, sneak, and break the rules when her investigation of the disappearance of her best--and only--friend, Lawrence, reveals dark secrets about her town and the orphanage run by the reclusive Mrs. Cavendish.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

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.