The Visconti House
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The Visconti House

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  276 ratings  ·  74 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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Emily
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
Karen
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...more
Jelynn R
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...more
Stefanie
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.
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
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
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...more
Charlotte
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...more
Julie
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
Heidi
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...more
Kendra
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...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
Earl
[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...more
Treasa
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
Sweet on Books
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
Jennifer
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
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...more
Lisa
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...more
Sarah
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...more
Yna Fempia Paez
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...more
Josephine
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...more
Veronica Hester
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...more
Leah
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
Jess
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
Jill Redman
This is a nice, interesting, and clean mystery for grades 6-9. I put this on my order list for middle school. The story will appeal to both boys and girls.
Sophie
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
Beth O'Connell
I wanted to read this just before school starts, since that's when the story begins for Laura. She's having a hard time not fitting in at her Australian high school. Her parents, a sculptor and a writer, bought an Italian villa that the kids at school insist is haunted. She's writing and illustrating a book about dragons. She doesn't want to talk to her elderly neighbor's grandson because he seems to fit in even less than she does. However, when she starts looking into the mysterious origins of...more
Lorna
Good realistic fiction for grades 5-7, or perhaps more mature 4th graders. Set in Australia, Laura is in grade 8 and lives with her family in the mysterious old Visconti house. She is struggling to fit in at school and actually would rather spend time with her artistic parents and their highly entertaining friends. A new boy, Leon, comes to town and like her house, he has a bit of mystery around him. The story unfolds and she strives to understand the pasts of both the house and Leon. Readers ma...more
Ryan
Enjoyable - Laura Horton's plight was believable, both at home and school. Her parents had moved to this old house to pursue their artistic dreams, and Laura loved much about the house and the move. Except for that it made her different from everyone else - weird and odd, on the outside. Having a friend who is also weird and odd can change everything. Suddenly, you belong somewhere, and that belonging can ooze into the rest of your life.

The end was a bit perfect - I would have been happier with...more
E
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

This book crept into my thoughts and nagged at me endlessly, demanding that I come back to the world Edgar created. I was completely sucked in by the bittersweet mysteries and old homes and secrets and transformations. At the end, I felt as though I had been privy to something deeply beautiful, rare, and magical. The book is not without flaws -- too much is told instead of shown, and one must suspend disbelief in parts -- but this mattered not when I was so deeply engaged with t...more
Julie
So I read this back to back with the Tilting House, this one first. Although they shared similar plot elements, the Tilting House was much more original. I had a hard time really loving the main character in this book, and I felt that her reactions and emotions were not really true to life. I also felt like I was pushed around as a reader. The author was trying to manipulate how I should feel about certain people and their actions, instead of just telling it like it is and leaving the reader to...more
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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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