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The Visconti House

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  345 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Laura Horton doesn't quite fit in. She lives in a grand crumbling mansion on the edge of town that everyone calls "the haunted house," and she has more in common with her parents' eccentric artist friends than with the girls at school. So when loner Leon Murphy moves in next door, Laura avoids him at first; she doesn't need anything else different or weir ...more
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Candlewick Press (first published July 1st 2009)
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May 22, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
This simple story is so much more than it appears. I love a story about an old house, so the title and cover drew me in. It was, of course, not what I was expecting. The story of Laura and Leon was what makes the book and the back story of the house is simply a supporting plot. Any teen (every one!) who has felt different or unaccepted will easily follow Laura's plight and will sigh deeply with recognition as they experience her joys and sorrows. This is a lovely, easy read, but it is a story th ...more
Hazel West
Jul 22, 2015 Hazel West rated it really liked it
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I actually got this book because I thought it was a ghost story, but it's not, it's actually just a mystery. However, I was still not disappointed with it and found it to be a very nice charming little almost coming of age story.

Cover--Yea or Nay: I do like the cover, I am always rather fond of simple silhouette artwork.

Characters:Laura was a nice character to read about. She was very quiet and slightly unassuming, but at the same time I was instantly drawn to her.
Stefanie Kellum
May 19, 2011 Stefanie Kellum rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-kids
Nerds in deep like search out the mysteries of an old mansion. I love nerds in deep like as much as the next nerd, but something here was lacking. There's a good lesson here about not worrying about what others think of you, but honestly, I found myself hurrying through this one just to get to the end. It was just okay.
Dec 14, 2016 Titania rated it really liked it
This book really fought my true attention with its amazing Name, background, front cover artwork. And the questions Laura and Leon were asking got me wondering to, I kept reading out of curiosity of what the truth was. Along with this book shows that it's okay to be different. Elsbeth Edgar did a fantastic job with this book, it is full of mysterys, clues, drama and more! Over all, I really enjoyed this book.
Brandy Painter
Review originally posted here.

The Visconti House is a book that is perfect for a certain kind of reader (me). There is nothing fast paced or action packed about the plot. It is full of slow discoveries, but it is well paced at the same time. There is nothing edgy or angsty about the teens and their lives in this book. Which is good. Not all teens have those kind of lives (me). There are teens out there who prefer the company of their families to their peers (me). I would have liked this book no
Feb 21, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
After living in Melbourne, Laura and her parents move into a fantastic old mansion, located in a small town. The house is gorgeously built. There's a ballroom (which Laura's mother, a sculptor, uses as a studio) and one of the bedrooms features a faded mural of a garden. But Laura doesn't care about the house. She's lonely and she hates her new school. She wishes her parents would move back to Melbourne, where their lives were more comfortable. Then suddenly things begin to change. A strange boy ...more
Sweet on Books
Mar 17, 2011 Sweet on Books rated it really liked it
Growing up is complicated enough without moving to a new town. Add in a quirky, old house and it is a recipe for disaster. That’s where we meet fourteen-year old Laura Horton. She’s moved with her family from Melbourne to this run-down mansion in the country, and finds herself in unfamiliar territory, with only her book of dragon drawings and stories for company. Her lovingly distracted parents don’t understand her. She feels different in every way, from her appearance and her interests, to her ...more
Laura Horton is different. She knows she's different from everyone else in her high school. She lives in the only mansion in town (thought by some to be haunted), her mother is an artist, her father is a writer, and her parents' eccentric friends often come to visit. All she really wants is to stop being different. But, at the same time, she wouldn't give up her parents or their friends or her house for anything in the world. Then Leon Murphy arrives in town, and he's just as different as she is ...more
Jelynn R
May 13, 2014 Jelynn R rated it it was amazing
For my book review, I read The Visconti House by Elsbeth Edgar. I would definitely recommend this book to someone for many reasons. One of them being that the author uses very descriptive words to paint a picture if the scene in the readers head. Another reason is because of how the plot and how you never really knew what was coming up next. And lastly, because of the characters, each with their own problems to deal with.

The author used many different words to describe scenes, settings and thin
Jan 25, 2011 Earl rated it it was amazing
[I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway. The book itself is the only compensation that I have received from those involved in the creation and marketing of the book for this review. Since the book is free, price is not considered in any recommendations I make about the book.]

"The Visconti House" is a wonderful story, which hits every mark that it strives to reach, and leaves the reader with a warm, fuzzy feeling after closing the covers. Although the book is recommended for ages ni
Jun 09, 2011 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
When I read The Visconti House, I remembered just why I turn to children's books for my personal reading pleasure. It is almost as if Edgar read a list of books I have loved since I was young, and remixed the bits I liked best, resulting in a beautiful hour of happy cover to cover reading.

I so appreciated when I was young, and I still do, books about girls who don't fit in because their interests are so diametrically opposed to those of their peers (which is one big reason why I'm going to BEA n
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Mar 06, 2012 IndyPL Kids Book Blog rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Laura feels like she doesn’t belong, especially at school where the kids seem to be so uninterested in anything different…like Laura herself, her writer father, her sculptor mother or the falling down mansion they live in. They only thing the other kids ever want to know is if the big old house is haunted. It IS full of unused rooms and dusty furniture and an attic full of deteriorating junk, but if it’s haunted Laura doesn’t care, she loves the old house. Laura is a dreamer and artist. She love ...more
Karen Keyte

A Small Australian town provides the setting for The Visconti House, a story that combines a century old mystery with present day-to-day schoolgirl traumas in an engaging way. Fourteen-year-old Laura Horton has not found the transition from city life to rural living quite as easy as she had hoped. She loves the crumbling old mansion her artistic parents chose, but there's not denying that living in the town's 'haunted house' is just one of the things that makes her different from the other kids
Aug 18, 2011 Kendra rated it it was ok
I just love stories set in creepy old houses. I'm not sure why, but that particular blend of mystery- waiting-to-be-solved and old houses with secrets to reveal just suck me in like crazy. That said, I was really excited to read this book set in a creepy old house in a small Australian town. And then I didn't really like it much.

I had two main problems with this book: First, the characters seemed too young and immature throughout the story. Laura (the main character) and her eventual friend Leo
Dec 21, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok
There's not many books that I give two stars or less to, but this one...I stand by my rating. The plot sounds interesting enough. A girl moves into a new home with her parents. Her parent's eccentric friends are the closest thing to "friends" that the main character really has. But sure enough one day a boy finds her interesting. Too bad this boy is a loser according to the popular crowd. She reluctantly starts hanging out with him and they begin to research the previous owner of her home, Mr. V ...more
Molly Ringle
I won a copy of this in the Free Reads giveaway, and am glad I did. I found it a charming story. Laura, the protagonist, reminded me of my awkward self at the start of high school--overly concerned that she doesn't fit in, that she's "weird," that her family's weird, that her classmates will make fun of her. It exasperated me a little, because there's no need to be so worried, as we all find out upon growing up, but that feature did make it realistic, and Laura did grow up enough to realize it h ...more
Feb 04, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen-mystery
Laura and her family have recently moved into a large, old mansion in suburban Australia. Laura's life is lonely until she meets Leon, a boy who recently came to live in town with his grandmother. Together the two try to discover the mystery of the man who built the house and his mysterious love affair with the woman for whom the house was built.
This story was entirely underwhelming. It wasn't poorly written but the plot is lacking. Laura, the main character, lacks emotion and depth. First she
Jun 08, 2011 Heidi rated it it was amazing
After reading a review over at Charlotte's Library, I decided that I needed to read this book ASAP. And I loved it. This is the kind of story I like best, and the writing is great too. (See the blurb for plot details).

The story takes place in Australia, a fact that seems unimportant at first, the experiences of Laura and Leon could happen almost anywhere. Being different is a topic that many kids can relate to as well as adults. But the location becomes more significant when Laura starts investi
Jun 20, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok
I have to be honest: I read the first quarter of this book and skimmed the rest. I just didn't care about the characters or the story. If I had read it all the way through, I might have given it only one star, so my partial reading was a kindness

Here's the plot: Laura, who is apparently in eighth grade, moves to a big, gorgeous house. She loves her house. She has both parents, who work at home, and who love her very much. But she constantly whines and cries ALL THE TIME because she doesn't fit
Michelle Nietfeld
Sep 19, 2015 Michelle Nietfeld rated it really liked it
Whatever you do, don't fear the inside cover! I picked up this book for my classroom (attracted by the black and blue cover with the mysterious misshapen home in the distance.) Interestingly, I was concerned that the story may be too scary for my middle school readers, and I nearly put the book back down without previewing it!

Having now read the story, I'm ever-so-glad I did! I feel i've found a literary treasure-- a pleasing read that captures the insecurities of the middle school years and the
Apr 27, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can relate to Laura. She is writing a book on dragons. Two of my favourite things! Writing and dragons. I'll just say what you're probably thinking; I'm WEIRD and PROUD of it! :)

Laura started hanging out with the mysterious Leon (after a big episode during class.) and starts to investigate the history about the house. Oh right, she just moved from some place so she's living in this big old house. It was built by a Mr Visconti, hence the the title of the book; the Visconti house. Anyway, she f
Yna Fempia Paez
May 22, 2013 Yna Fempia Paez rated it really liked it
Shelves: booksale
The sheer awkwardness I felt sometimes while reading this book is probably because I'm too old for it. Besides, I never, as far as I'm concerned, felt the things Laura Horton felt as a fourteen-year-old girl. Really, do you really have to care what other people might think of you just because you're different?

And she's so pessimistic it's a good thing Leon balances her out. I prefer protagonists that are optimistic, happy and confident. There are enough negative thoughts in the real world for me
The Visconti House was a mystery story like no other.
Laura Horton feels different living in the Visconti House and is teased all the time. Then she meets Leon Murphy,a strange boy with many rumors and a top maths student. When you mix these personalities together it makes a perfect match!
When Leon's grandmother tells them about the person who built the house,a man called Mr Visconti, a mystery unravels. I love the amount of detail in the book.I could see the house and Mr Visconti tapping with h
Mar 16, 2016 7HillsLibrarian rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle, book-tasted
Posted on behalf of Book Taster Julia: It was so interesting because the main character was so different from anybody else and it was interesting to see how she was so different. The book was very suspenseful and there was always something else people weren't seeing. My favorite part was when Laura (the main character) tore up her favorite drawing in front of one of the teachers during class and refused to share it because she didn't want other people to see. When family becomes more important t ...more
Apr 12, 2011 Leah rated it liked it
I was a bit unsure what this book would be like at first. I almost wondered if it would have some ghosts pop in here or there, or turn into a mushy teen love story. It ended up being a very sweet story of a young girl learning one of life’s most important (and hard) lessons. Learning to like yourself for you and not care what others think is something that everyone struggles with. Seeing Laura change from hating school because of girls teasing her, to standing up for her self and deciding to jus ...more
May 22, 2015 Kara added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2013 Josephine rated it really liked it
Shelves: jf
One of those books you’d like your kids to read before they get to that awkward point in life when they’re sort of on their own and trying to figure out who they are and what is important to them.

The story is realistic and believable, something that I would think school-aged children could relate to easily.

I appreciate how the author touches on some of the bullying, but doesn’t exaggerate or drone on about the misery that abounds in middle and high school. I also appreciate how there isn’t a d
Nov 29, 2015 Janice rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-lit
Laura Horton is the new kid, the strange kid in her class. She recently moved to the big, crumbling mansion (purported to be haunted). She's been trying to fit in, but with artsy parents, her love of reading and drawing; it's not quite working.

Leon moves in down the street. He's an outcast also. He's quiet with a chip on his shoulder. His father reportedly is a criminal so he was sent to live with his grandmother.

They stumble into a friendship as they research the history of the house that Laura
Dec 31, 2014 Sophie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gorgeous-covers
This book was actually really good! I've never heard of this novel or author, but I now find myself wanting to read more of Australian author, Elsbeth Edgar's, work. This mystery novels main character is 14-year-old Laura who just recently moved to an old mansion in Australia that is known as The Visconti House. After Leon Murphy, the boy next door, moves in, Laura soon discovers from his grandmother, Mrs. Murphy, that an Italian man named Mr.Visconti used to live there. Suddenly interested by t ...more
Jun 16, 2011 Jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: juv, mystery
This is the sort of story that's particularly appealing to kids who like old houses and uncovering secret histories - or, the kids who wish they got to live in an old house with decades-old secrets. The story also deals with the perennial problem of feeling like an outsider at school - someone who doesn't quite have friends and who has a secret life of the imagination. It's about friendships and kindred spirits and coming into yourself as a person - all of those things you're going through in mi ...more
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What's The Name o...: Please help me [s] 5 37 Dec 17, 2013 04:23PM  
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After completing her university course (majoring in French Literature) and teaching for one year, Elsbeth traveled overland from Katmandu to London. For four years she spent the winter months working in London and the summer months traveling in Europe. When she returned to Melbourne, she taught English as a second language to the first wave of Vietnamese refugees for several years, before moving t ...more
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