At the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, you will definitely learn your lesson. An atmospheric, heartfelt, and delightfully spooky novel for fans of Coraline, Splendors and Glooms, 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.
Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now Ms. Legrand is a full-time writer living in New Jersey. She has written two middle grade novels—The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012, and The Year of Shadows—as well as the young adult novel Winterspell. Visit her at Claire-Legrand.com and on Twitter @ClaireLegrand.
Sarah Watts is an illustrator of fabric lines, books, and other printed delights. She is married to an adventure junkie and she collects old treasures. Sarah is also the Alumni Board of Trustee member for Ringling College of Art and Design (RACD).
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (August 28, 2012)
Length: 352 pages
Grades: 5 and up
Ages: 10 - 99
Lexile ® 750L
The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is weirdly charming and creepy. I loved the intrepid girl hero Victoria and her determination to save her best friend from the scariest Home ever. An enormously fun--and shivery--read.
– Sarah Prineas, author of The Magic Thief series
"A heartwarming friendship tale—played out amid carpets of chittering insects, torture both corporal and psychological, the odd bit of cannibalism and like ghoulish delights. A thoroughgoing ickfest, elevated by vulnerable but resilient young characters and capped by a righteously ominous closing twist."
– Kirkus, starred review
" 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. Legrand gives Victoria's mission a prickly energy, and her descriptions of the sighing, heaving home—a character in itself—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."
– Publisher's Weekly
"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
Awards and Honors
NYPL 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Master List (VT)