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Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert…

Serafina and the Black Cloak

by Robert Beatty

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Serafina (1)

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8515616,183 (3.76)31

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Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
Serafina is the Chief Rat Catcher at the Biltmore Estate, residence of the Vanderbilt family. Only no one knows that she and her father live there in the basement. Serafina doesn’t have any friends, but she is very close to her father. She's never been outside and has been warned to never, ever go in the woods. Serafina spends the nights prowling. She knows the estate well from years of hiding in the shadows and creeping around. But one night, while out catching rats, she hears crying. When Serafina investigates, she sees a man in a black cloak trying to catch a young girl. He keeps saying he won’t hurt her, but she's clearly terrified, and Serafina vows to help her escape. With a swish of his cloak, the girl disappears. Serafina manages to get away. The next day, during an encounter with Braeden Vanderbilt (the owner’s nephew who lives there), she learns that other children have recently gone missing. The adults are starting to worry and search parties begin to form. Together Braeden and Serafina embark on a wild journey to see if they can uncover who is wearing the black cloak and figure out what he's doing with the children. Will they be able to piece together the clues? What does the cloak do? What happens to the children enveloped in its folds? Why isn’t Serafina supposed to go in the woods? You’ll have to check out this chilling tale to find out!

I have had Serafina and the Black Cloak on my TBR list since I first read about it on another blog. It’s taken me a while to get to it, and I really did not know what to expect. I liked the fact that Serafina was braver than she thought. When she met Braeden they became fast friends, but it made sense based on the disappearing children and the fact that neither of them had any friends. The black cloak was crazy, and I was very curious about the person behind it. I wondered what it did and what happened to the people who were swept up in it. Thankfully all those questions were wrapped up in the end. Serafina’s father seemed to be a gentle soul and I was happy she had him in her life. After reading the book, I was curious and had to look up the real Biltmore Estate since so much of the book took place there. Wow! It's easy to see how, with a house that size, someone could live in the basement and never be discovered. This book is a nice mix of realistic fiction and fantasy for those who enjoy a little bit of spooky. I’d recommend it to anyone in fourth grade and up who likes slightly creepy reads. It looks like there are a few more books in the series, too!
( )
  Robinsonstef | Jul 10, 2019 |
A bit of a slow starter, but once it hooked me in I cheered for Serafina as she worked to find her way in the world where she is clearly different. She has an amazing skill set, mysterious origins, and a fast friend in Braeden Vanderbilt. The two team up to try to figure out the identity of the man in the black cloak who seems to be stealing children and how to stop him before he claims any additional victims. ( )
  ewyatt | May 22, 2019 |
Interesting idea and plot direction. It was a tale I couldn’t have predicted at the beginning but as the story unfolded, it became pretty clear the direction it would take. I just wasn’t sure how it would reach that end. I felt it was creative but a bit repetitive in parts. ( )
  sgilbraith | Feb 8, 2019 |
Being close to Halloween, this made for a wonderful read. As well, I now need to head to Ashville to visit the Biltmore Estate after all the wonderful descriptions in this book.

Serafina is a gutsy 12 year old heroine. She always knew that she was different, but not sure why. Her father, Pa, and her live in the basement of the estate. He is the mechanic, she is the Chief Rat Catcher. He warns her not to let anyone see her, find out her name, where they live and to never go into the forest. When she encounters a strange man in a Black Cloak chasing a young girl in the basement she is not sure what to do. When the girl vanishes into the cloak, she runs and hides for her own safety. She knows she has to tell someone what happened, but her Pa does not believe her. She finally decides that she needs to tell Master Braeden. The story takes off from there. Who is this mysterious man? What is happening to the children? Is Braeden his next victim? With her own life in danger, Serafina hatches a plot to destroy the man in the black cloak and save Braeden. A great read for middle graders, YA and even adults. Very imaginative and scary at times. I enjoyed this one and am looking forward to the next one in the series. There is so much more to learn about Serafina. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
This book is not what I expected at first, but once I read it then I understood. This book is interesting and very unique because the story that her quote unquote father told her about how he found her is just very different and heart warming. At first I thought it would be about Serafina in a black cloak in the woods or sneaking around somewhere she wasn't supposed to. Usually I don't like books because they are either too confusing or too big of a book was for some reason this book just reached out to me.
  HaidinG.B4 | Jan 17, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Beattyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blank, AaronExecutive producersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elias, MariaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jansson, AlexanderCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Korn, LindaDirectorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Serafina opened her eyes and scanned the darkened workshop, looking for any rats stupid enough to come into her territory while she slept. She knew they were out there, just beyond her nightly range, crawling in the cracks and shadows of the great house’s sprawling basement, keen to steal whatever they could from the kitchens and storerooms. She had spent most of the day napping in her favorite out-of-the-way places, but it was here, curled up on the old mattress behind the rusty boiler in the protection of the workshop, that she felt most at home. Hammers, wrenches, and gears hung down from the roughhewn beams, and the familiar smell of machinery oil filled the air. Her first thought as she looked around her and listened out into the reaching darkness was that it felt like a good night for hunting.
"Our world is filled with many mysteries, things we don’t understand. Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, both dark and bright, and they will ensnare your soul." —Pa telling Serafina about the forest
"Our character isn’t defined by the battles we win or lose,
but by the battles we dare to fight."
Who is the Man in the Black Cloak?
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Book description
"Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, both dark and bright, and they will ensnare your soul."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in her grand home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.

A spooky historical mystery-thriller about an unusual girl with cat-like characteristics who lives secretly in the basement of the Biltmore Estate.
Haiku summary
The Chief Rat Catcher
fights evil, kidnapping cloak
and loneliness, too. 

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

In 1899, a twelve-year-old rat catcher on North Carolina's Biltmore estate teams up with the estate owner's young nephew to battle a great evil and, in the process, unlocks the puzzle of her past.

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Average: (3.76)
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