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The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by…
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The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

by Claire Legrand

Other authors: Sarah Watts (Illustrator)

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2601764,217 (3.8)16
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Good children's horror, but I'm the wrong reader for this book, since I don't do well with horror. It gives me nightmares. This one probably will - which for lovers of the genre, is high praise. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Victoria likes everything just so. She likes organization, studying, and making sure her best friend Lawrence is doing what he is supposed to. Her grades, ever immaculate, have been always something she's had that make her parents proud of her. But, when Victoria discovers a B placed next to one of her classes all she can think about is finding a way to change her grade. She needs to make sure that her parents don't find out because without everything being simply perfect in her life who is she? Her stress gets to her enough that she disregards Lawrence's rather odd behavior and when she discovers him missing she feels awful. Lawrence's disappearance is explained by his parents as him just helping out a relative - she doesn't by it. Everything has been turned upside down ever since she got that B and ever since Lawrence went away. Victoria soon discovers mystery and deceit around The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. There is something going on in her town and Mrs. Cavendish is the prime suspect.

I loved Legrand's writing. It fit right in with the story she created. It was spooky and mysterious. I enjoyed most of the story. Even Victoria with her attitude towards perfection was a great character to follow although, she seemed to come to terms with things rather slowly. I loved that Lawrence was basically classified as a misfit. He wasn't good at many subjects other than music. He had a real passion and knew what he wanted out of life. Playing the piano made him happy but everyone else had a problem with it. Victoria nagged him about it (she secretly liked his piano playing) and it drove his parents crazy. Another thing I liked about the story was that it was very reminiscent of Coraline and Breadcrumbs. Mrs. Cavendish could have been Coraline's Other Mother. She even had an affinity for bugs. The way Victoria went after her friend reminded me of how Hazel from Breadcrumbs went on a journey to bring her friend back safely from harm. The only difference was I could tell there was possible rumblings of feelings between Victoria and Lawrence.

I honestly loved most of the story and I've rated it pretty high but as there was a lot of things I enjoyed about the story, there was a good many things I didn't. There were moments in the story that didn't sit too well with me. I don't know if the story was dragging on at some points or what but I had the unsettled feeling that I wished some parts of the story were rewritten. There is something huge I can point out about the book I didn't enjoy which was the amount of violence it had for an MG book. I mean Mrs. Cavendish was pure evil! She would make people live their worst nightmares and get rid of their "problems" in a horrible way. She would whip their hands until they were bleeding which unrealistically no one talked about after it occurred. I mean your hand must be stinging at least and you don't mention it at all? The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls gets really dark very suddenly and if you don't like that type of book I wouldn't advise you to read it. If you are okay with the grim situations in this story than you might think it's fantastic and very much like Coraline with its own twists. ( )
  AdrianaGarcia | Jul 10, 2018 |
Based on the cover illustration, I wasn't expecting just how gruesome some of the detailed descriptions at the end of the book. It's a dark middle grade novel with a couple moral twists such as excepting others as they are, and living with the high standards of perfection. "You like things to be just so, no matter what the cost. So does she. So does everyone around here." The book gets a bit long in the middle, but recovers with high suspense. ( )
  standhenry | Jul 16, 2017 |
This book was pretty much as I expected. It didn't haven't any shocking twists and turns (though the epilogue was SPOT ON! I loved it!) I would recommend this book for someone in the middle grade reading level. It's a good story, I've just read it before, you know? Still good, still enjoyable, just not for me. 3.5 out of 5 stars. ( )
  Beammey | Jan 23, 2016 |
Twelve year old Victoria is perfect and practical in every way until she gets a B in music. Not only is it an ugly smudge on her otherwise perfect record, it's a huge personal embarrassment. The only thing that comes close is her best friend, Lawrence. Well, he's more like a 'project' for Victoria to see if she can get him to tuck in his shirt and comb his skunk-like hair and stop obsessing so much about his stupid piano. But when Lawrence goes missing - and no one really seems too worried about it - she suspects it might have something to do with the strange orphanage at the end of the street. She also suspects she might care more about Lawrence than she thought.

This book is nothing if not creepy. Mrs. Cavendish and her Home reminded me a lot of Mr. Leland Gaunt from Stephen King's Needful Things. Both are manipulative and have a real mean streak, but while Gaunt is hell-bent on chaos, Mrs. Cavendish is striving for perfection and order. And if you like a creepy story this might just be right up your alley, but as I read it with my ten-year old daughter I found it a bit too dark. Kirkus Reviews called it a "heartwarming friendship tale," but the "friendship" part was burried under some torture, a little cannibalism, and a whole lot of general creepiness. Victoria isn't exactly an endearing character with her fussiness and superiority - which turns out to be a real parallel with Mrs. Cavendish - but she's likeable enough. And the writing is very good, but for me it was just a little too dark and creepy - for a YA book and my 10-year old, that is. ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Legrand, Claireprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Watts, SarahIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Book description
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.
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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.… (more)

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