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The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  2,834 Ratings  ·  630 Reviews
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 disaste
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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Claire Legrand
Jan 13, 2014 Claire Legrand rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I was not, dear readers, going to rate my own book, but its main character, Victoria, thought it was extremely, unnecessarily silly for me not to. In fact, she would not have it any other way.

"It isn't bragging or disingenuous or anything like that," she sniffed. "It's simply taking pride in your own work." She stared at me, an eyebrow raised. "Don't you have any pride?"

"Well . . . a healthy amount, I guess . . . It was an incredibly fun book to write."

Victoria nodded briskly. "Well of course i
Wendy Darling
Are you in the mood to spooked? Here is a delightfully dreadful tale that will give you the creepy-crawlies.

12-year-old Victoria's best friend Lawrence has gone missing. Not only is she confused and lonely after his disappearance, but no one in town seems to remember who he was. Prickly, persnickety Victoria is determined to find out what happened to him, and gradually her questions lead her straight to the tall, gray-brick Home at the end of her street where the bright-eyed Mrs. Cavendish live
Richard Denney
Feb 03, 2016 Richard Denney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-favorites
Now that was a GOOD READ!


It was creepy, spooky, scary, icky, wicked, and horrifyingly delicious. I can’t believe I waited so long to take this off of my shelf and give it a go. The story was amazing and fun and a few parts gave me the creeps, which is hard for books to do to me sometimes. I applaud this book for that.

This is about a young snooty twelve-year-old girl whose peculiar best friend goes missing and of course she has to find out what happened to him and that is when the creepiness beg
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers


First Impressions:

Thea: Awe. Horror. Utter, depraved delight. All of these are emotions I experienced while reading The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, the debut novel from Claire Legrand. Cavendish has a little bit of everything - a dash of Matilda, a heaping dose of Coraline, a touch of Tim Burton, topped off with a whole lotta original awesomeness, too, naturally. This is one fantastic book, and I loved it from cover to cover.

Ana: When I f
Sep 30, 2015 Elesia rated it it was amazing
*4.5 stars*

SO fabulously creepy! Loved it! Perfect read for October/Halloween time!
Nov 23, 2012 Kathy rated it liked it
Lovely, creepy book. It doesn't really start out that way. 12 year old Victoria is one of those perfect children who are always neat and well behaved. She gets straight A's and even has curly blond hair and blue eyes. Her only friend is a musically talented boy that she befriended in order to improve him. Even the town they live in is picture postcard perfect. Then, children begin to disappear. Victoria doesn't notice it much until her friend Lawrence is one of them. Then, she decides that SHE ...more
Stefan Bachmann
Oct 18, 2012 Stefan Bachmann rated it it was amazing
Actually more like a 100 stars. It's creepy and funny and Victoria is one of the best MG characters in aaaages. Also, I loved the writing, especially the descriptions of the insides of the House and the not-quite-perfect, Stepford-ish town. You MUST read it. Like, now. Really. :)
Feb 27, 2015 AnneOfBookville rated it did not like it
What in THE LORD DID I...WHAT...did the same book?

For those who are religious: please excuse me for using the Lord's name in vain.

BUT. THIS. I look at all the five-starred reviews and can do nothing except...stare in horror at my screen.

Do we value originality anymore? MY GOD I SWEAR WE DON'T HAVE THE SAME BOOK. Either that, or the future of literature is in the balance, my friend.

Okay. I apologise for being so dramatic. But after finishing this book I actually groaned and buri
Patty  (Bookish Wanderlove)
One night while I was at Chapters I came across this book in the bargain/YA section, and the only reason I picked it up was because of the cover design; it’s beautiful and intriguing!! I read the flap (yes I call it that) and decided it was coming home with me, little did I know that this is actually classified as a children’s book, but hey, so is Harry Potter!

I don't even think I can capture in words my level of excitement and love for this book!! But I will do my best! After reading the first
Jan 26, 2013 Gillian rated it it was amazing
wow i read this forever ago long enough to obnoxiously comment when everyone else was reading it because i had loved it but i wanted to write a huge good review but then i couldn't. if i loved cavendish home less i could talk about it more, it is all my favorite ya tropes and tropes in general with additional good stuff like some surprisingly legit creepy atmospheric stuff.

it is like a book written just for me, thank u claire legrand, i love u
Jun 23, 2016 Alexa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars, really. I'm not one for creepy books, but I think I'm going to have to rethink that after reading this one! I loved this story. I loved the atmospheric setting, the spunky and smart main character and the whole host of secondary characters. It was so fun and so unexpected and so compelling!
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 04, 2016 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of darker children't lit
Recommended to Ivonne by: Kindle sale
Meet Victoria Wright, a 12-year-old who’s so driven that she won’t even make friends because friends are just “idiots trying to distract you” (p. 144) from the goal of being the most perfect child living on Silldie Place and attending Impetus Academy, “Where Tradition Meets Innovation.” Blonde-curled Victoria — compulsively well-behaved, tidy, competitive, smugly self-assured — lives in the town of Belleville, a Stepford, Conn., clone in which “everything smelled of clean, crisp money” (p. 83) ...more
Michelle (FabBookReviews)

The book is described as a combination of Neil Gaiman and Trenton Lee Stewarts' Mysterious Benedict Society. And it is, but it is also its own wonderfully sinister creation. This is not a writer nor story that sugarcoats disturbing events! Part fable, part fairy tale, and all horror story, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is a veritably frightening, gruesome, and beautifully written story.

Victoria Wright likes everything to be just so. She is a perfect student, an overachiever, and top of h
Carina Olsen
Jul 05, 2015 Carina Olsen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is my third time reading this book. And it just keeps getting better for each time. Sigh. Though how I managed to wait this long before I read it again I don't know. Last read it in February 2013. So it has been way too long. But oh, it felt good to read it again. Because this book makes me so happy. Yet also so sad and heartbroken. It is perfect. Since I have already written a review and a book recommendation post for this book, this post of mine will be a little shorter. Most likely. ...more
The premise here is simple, at least in its broad outlines: a boy goes missing, a girl has to go find him. It's refreshing that in this case it's the girl who rescues the boy, and that there are few overtones of obligatory-feeling romance between the two. And there are also some truly creepy descriptions that I wish had been developed into fuller scenes. But on the whole this book felt rushed to me, its characters thin and its plot confusing. (Full disclosure: I read an ARC, so some of these ...more
Dec 21, 2012 SJ rated it liked it
I'm giving this one 3.5 stars, with the full knowledge that it probably really deserves 4 or 4.5. It's strictly down to personal preferences, and of little to no fault of the author. It IS a good book. It's fairly original, compelling, and a real page turner. I love the dark whimsy of the whole thing, and I love that despite being a joy ride of scariness, it threw a message in there for good measure. There were just a few annoying bits in my mind, and they are not something that would likely ...more
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
It's interesting when you run into a bit of book synchronicity. Having read Barker's The Thief of Always shortly before this one, I couldn't help but see some similar elements in the two books.

Anyway -

The biggest issue I had with this book was that it was about 100 pages too long. It was so repetitive. The whole beginning when Victoria is first noticing people have gone missing, and she starts investigating, is just one big continuous loop.

I did like the bit in the library, though, and it was p
Sep 17, 2012 E.C. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
Whatever you think is going on in Mrs. Cavendish's Home for Boys and Girls, the truth is far more grotesque and wonderful than anything you could imagine. Victoria Wright has always been a perfect daughter and student, but in true Roald Dahl fashion, "perfect" is in the eye of the beholder, and Victoria manages to be both sympathetic and insufferable in all the best ways. You'll be rooting for her as she learns that even she has room for improvement. If Stephen King wrote middle grade fiction, ...more
Feb 28, 2012 Starr rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is a deliciously creepy delight that will have you up at night, reading under blankets with only a flashlight. (And maybe a stuffed unicorn, to scare away all the night beasties!)

I can't stop thinking about the main character, Victoria, with her perfectly-lined-up pencils and her carefully labeled boxes and her shiny awards. I wish I could travel back in time twenty years and give this to my nerdy perfectionist childhood self... it would have made for a week of sleepless nights but it
Mar 26, 2012 Nikki rated it it was amazing
It's hard to find words to express how I love this book. I managed to lay hands on an ARC of this one, started reading it last night, and finished it this morning.
It's so well-paced, and frightening, and thrilling. It's Neil Gaiman and Roald Dahl and Maryrose Wood and a tiny bit of R. L. Stine, mixed together and served up in a glorious combination of horror, heart, friendship and fantasy.
I found myself gasping and laughing, and turning pages as fast as I could... do NOT miss this book.
It is,
Frankie Diane Mallis
Sep 07, 2012 Frankie Diane Mallis rated it it was amazing
Absolutely charming and gorgeous story about a girl you can't help but root for all the way! I wasn't expecting to be as creeped out and horrified by some of the story as I was--but I LOVED it. This is horror middle grade and Claire knows exactly what she's doing. Victoria reminded me a lot of Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden who is my favorite, so of course I fell in love with her too. Definitely a top middle grade read!
May 08, 2016 Britney rated it it was amazing
THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS is Claire Legrand’s debut novel. I'm still blown away by that fact and in awe of Ms. Claire Legrand because it is THAT GOOD.

CAVENDISH (which is how it will henceforth be shortened because I am lazy) is the perfect middle grade novel. It is narrated by this great voice that had me chortling and nodding my head profusely; it has a unique plot that pulled me in from the beginning; it is eerie and at times down right frightening; and the ending had me shutting
Brandy Painter
Aug 11, 2013 Brandy Painter rated it really liked it
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand is one of those books that I added to my TBR, but felt no urgency to read. Then one day I saw it on display at the library and thought: now's as good a time as any. But soon I was swamped with other things to read and I may have returned it unread if Shelver hadn't read it and started talking about how wonderful it is. So I kept it around, renewed it twice, and finally found the time
Anna  Smyth
Rating: 4.5 stars

Fancy a creepy story with an engaging protagonist and an eerie setting?
Well, then this is your cup of tea.
First off, I'll have to say write it: I love Victoria.
Was she a kindhearted girl? No, definitely not.
And maybe it's because of her strong personality that I was so keen to follow her in her 'investigations'.
She is often is pretentious and a snob. She strives to be the best at everything, dedicating all of her time to study. Most importantly, whatever the purpose, Victoria
Cintya Larasinta
Mar 25, 2015 Cintya Larasinta rated it really liked it
well, saya membaca di ebook dan saya berpikir The Cavendish itu semacam panti asuhan atau gereja namun ternyata itu berupa Rumah Misterius.
The Cavendish terlihat kesan gelap, abadi, misterius. saya merasa The Cavendish ini hampir mirip dengan Coraline.
tokoh utama, gadis remaja Victoria gadis 12 tahun yang tidak begitu menyukai omong kosong dan perfeksionis. dia juga menganggap Victoria itu adalah hidup sempurna. Victoria mempunyai teman ( sempat tidak mau menganggap sebagai teman)yakni cowok ur
Dec 20, 2011 Kendra rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of reading this book during it's beta phase. It's magical, fantastic, and creeptastic fun. Ms. Legrand's command of quirky, though thoroughly believeable, characterization is a delight. The world is richly detailed, and the villain scared the pants off me. I found it very easy to get lost in the story. Fans of Tim Burton films, Lemony Snicket, or anything else odd and wonderful will love Cavendish.

If you have a middle grade reader, or just enjoy a good, creepy tale, this is a
This was a very creepy and surprisingly gruesome story about the mysterious Ms. Cavendish and her "home for boys and girls" that I enjoyed a lot! So many scenes gave me chills, mostly because of the setting that felt very Tim Burton-eske and nightmarish at times. I highly recommend this book for children aged 10 and older (definitely not suitable for younger children!) I think it would make a great Christmas gift, since it's also visually a very beautiful book with gorgeous illustrations.
Lex B
Nov 10, 2012 Lex B rated it it was amazing
I loved this so much. I loved this a lot.
Anne Freya
Mar 08, 2015 Anne Freya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
AADC. Bukan Ada Apa dengan Cinta? tapi Ada Apa dengan Cavendish? lol.

Sudah cukup lama tidak baca buku anak-anak, and wow...I really missed it so much. :)
Nah, yang satu ini benar-benar mengingatkanku pada The Mysterious Benedict Society. Mungkin karena gaya berceritanya dan juga ilustrasi sampul beserta ilustrasi-ilustrasi yang diselipkan ke dalam bukunya.

Tapi, buku yang satu ini sayangnya bukan bacaan untuk anak-anak. Karena selain ada adegan kekerasan, penyiksaan, juga ada unsur kanibalisme di
Isa Lavinia

This was a delightful birthday present from Susana (thank you!!!). I had my eye on this book for ages - I'm quite shallow, I'll be the first to admit it, and pretty book covers are my siren's call. Mostly, what ends up happening is that the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" proves itself right more often than not.

But not with The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls!
Legrand has a gift for spooky descriptions:

"For a flash of a second, Mr. and Mrs. Prewitt’s pretty smiles changed into enormo
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Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn't stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a writer and former librarian living in central New Jersey (although her heart will always live in her home state of Texas).

Her first novel is THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, one of the New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012. She is also
More about Claire Legrand...

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“But it's hard to leave a place when you're tied to it by fear, when it's broken you with fear, when it's all you've ever known.” 22 likes
“He lived in a dreamer's world of ivory keys and messy shirts, unconcerned with the people around him.” 21 likes
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