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The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,790 ratings  ·  464 reviews
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. Vic
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Claire Legrand
Jan 31, 2012 Claire Legrand rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (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
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 fin
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 w ...more
Stefan Bachmann
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. :)
Patty  (BookishWanderlove)
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
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
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 10, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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) a ...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
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. We'l ...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 iss ...more
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 ann ...more
Sep 17, 2012 E.C. rated it 5 of 5 stars
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, h ...more
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
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
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!
Lex B
I loved this so much. I loved this a lot.
Brandy Painter
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
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
Fastidious Victoria has a single friend, the sloppy and absent minded musician Lawrence. She considers him her personal project, and their friendship a sort of community service. But when Lawrence disappears, Victoria finds that she's the only one to care, the only one who finds something wrong with the silence ringing where Lawrence's piano music should be playing. She notices with mounting horror that all the children who don't quite fit the town's idea of normal have quietly gone missing, for ...more
Oct 25, 2012 Heidi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone, but especially fans of Coraline and Flavia de Luce
Shelves: fantasy, ya, vine
This is a super duper creepy crawly story about a prim, precocious (but also hilarious) 12-year-old girl who realizes that the children in her perfect little town are being "disappeared." No one else seems to notice this, however, and so it is left up to Victoria to solve the mystery and make things right.

Although the book seems aimed at tweens, it totally freaked me out more than once (and I'm a thirtysomething...). There is some incredibly weird and ghoulish stuff that happens, like millions o
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is a horror book for young adult. I honestly feel that it is too gruesome for children.

A bit like the stepford wives but with children, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls told the story of how far would anyone go to get a perfect child.

Victoria is a winner. She believes that she embodies her namesake "victory". She likes to do things just 'so' and she likes to be the best at everything. One day she decided to take a pet project. A boy name Lawrence or w
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Sep 11, 2012 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: GR monthly new release e-mail
I originally gave this three stars, but it was so close to four that I decided not to be miserly, and bumped it up by one. If you have a kid (and when I say kid I mean a young to middling teenager, or maybe an advanced pre-teen) who likes to read scary stories, they might be into this. It had a very Outer Limits/Twilight Zone kind of feel. This is apparently meant as a middle grades book, and the storytelling style is like that, but some of the elements seem a bit too gruesome for that. (One thi ...more
Pamela ☼all cookie dough & chips☼ Tee
I find I like a great many Young Adult books but the number of middle-grade/early teen books that catch my imagination are far fewer. (Authors writing for this section of the market can be so condescending. Yuck.)

But "The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls" has none of these problems. Claire Legrand writes brilliantly, and her plotting and timing is perfect. She carefully builds the tension and leaves the reader clues, and by the time you're at the back of the book your racing down the page tryin
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
Halfway through reading this, I realized Cavendish was everything I think I wanted School of Fear to be but it just wasn't. I loved Victoria (despite possibly being her polar opposite) and her voice throughout the book. I really enjoyed that uninvolved parents were such for a reason (as I hate when books/movies/shows have random shit happening to kids and only other kids are involved). Envisioning the house was frankly just fun. Oh, and creepy. (Stumbling across subway roaches has taken on new m ...more
I was lucky enough to read an earlier version of this book, and I have no doubt that the finished copy will be even better. Claire Legrand has created a fabulous world that has just the right amount of eerie intensity and is filled with interesting characters. CAVENDISH is a fun and creepy book that I can't wait to have on my shelves! (Official review to come when the real thing comes out!)
Oct 16, 2012 Moniker rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Moniker by: Crystal O
This was as lovely as I was promised. Victoria is great main/POV character, and I realized very quickly that I would identify far too much with her and her relentless search for perfection at school, which is hilarious because I've gotten progressively terrible at school as I got older. I was going to try and write a real review but let's not kid ourselves.
Sarvenaz Tash
Fans of Neil Gaiman and Stephen King will adore this deliciously dark tale filled with twists, turns and things that go bump in the night! Enter the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls at your own risk for it is a place that is likely to permanently imprint itself on your mind (and possibly nightmares).

A delightfully wicked read.
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jul 21, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh marked it as to-read
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Ivonne Rovira
Ivonne says, "We do read different kinds of books; however, this book is right up your alley. It's supposed to be a children's book, but I don't see how they thought so. It's very, very dark in a Neil Gaiman kind of way. It's much more Coraline than Harry Potter. I think you'll love it."
Note: really well received debut.
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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 a writer, Ms. Legrand can often be found typing with purpose at her keyboard, losing herself in the stacks at her local library, or embarking upon spontaneous adventures to lands unknown. Her first novel is THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, a New York Public Library Best Book ...more
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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.” 14 likes
“He lived in a dreamer's world of ivory keys and messy shirts, unconcerned with the people around him.” 14 likes
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