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The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,269 ratings  ·  791 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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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,269 ratings  ·  791 reviews

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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
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 be
monica kim
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can’t wait to read more by this author! This is a perfect autumn read when you want something spooky along the lines of Coraline.
Feb 27, 2015 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
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a deliciously horrible antagonist Mrs. Cavendish is in this story about a girl, Victoria, and her friend, Lawrence. Victoria strives for perfection and control in everything, and she has little to no patience for anything that deviates from her ideals. Lawrence is scruffy, untidy, and loves (shock!) music and playing the piano. Victoria and Lawrence live in Belleville, where everyone in town wants everything to be uncomplicated and good-looking, and conventional. Anything else is frowned up ...more
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
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*4.5 stars*

SO fabulously creepy! Loved it! Perfect read for October/Halloween time!
Carina Olsen
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is still so precious to me. It's been five years now since it came out and I read it for the first time. This is now the fourth time I have read it, though it had already been three years since my last read. How rude. Finally had the chance to read it again now, though. And I'm so happy that I did. Because it is perfect.

I'm thrilled that I still love this book just as much as I did all those years ago. I simply adore Claire and all her books. This first one of hers is still my favorite
Stefan Bachmann
Feb 28, 2012 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. :) ...more
Oct 06, 2012 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 w ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliantly crafted creepy yet totally tons of fun middle grade. This is my first read by Claire Legrand and it was such a treat. I never wanted to put it down hence why I finished it in about 2 days.

This is a middle grade novel so it was a bit cheesy but it was surprisingly not that predictable. I mean there were a couple parts where I was like, "Yeah that was obvious" but I found myself being pleasantly shocked by some of the twists and reveals sprinkled throughout this story. The main char
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
Jan 26, 2013 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
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! ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
It starts off a bit slow, and the main character is a bit awful at first, but stick with it. By the end of the book, Victoria had grown on me and I was deeply creeped out. There's a fair bit of body horror lurking here, so keep that in mind if you like to avoid that sort of thing. ...more
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Oh, big Coraline vibes. Very good middle grade to pick up around Halloween. I already had issues with clowns and dolls so this DID NOT help that but I loved how smart the main character is.
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
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 06, 2013 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) a ...more
Dec 13, 2012 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 ann ...more
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
Wonderfully gothic with one of my new favorite protagonists, Victoria. I was immediately drawn into the story, and I thought I basically knew where it was going (and was totally fine with it), but I was pleasantly surprised by the direction it took! For fans of Coraline and Series of Unfortunate Events.
Stay Fetters
Aug 17, 2020 rated it liked it
"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."

colleen the convivial curmudgeon
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
Rating: 4 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 is
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 22, 2012 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, h ...more
Apr 18, 2011 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
Sep 07, 2011 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
Jun 10, 2012 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! ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Admittedly, I picked this up because of 1) the autumn vibes and 2) the blurb said it was similar to the Mysterious Benedict Society. It's a middle grade horror, though, which is a very different flavor to MBS and to what I normally read. Despite this I thought the majority of it was okay - nothing groundbreaking, but a nice October weekend read if you're in the mood for the horror version of mild salsa.

The ending ruined the resolution though, so - two stars.
charming! delightful! absolutely terrifying! i loved this so much :') ...more
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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 librarian and New York Times bestselling author living in central New Jersey.

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 the author of THE YEAR OF SHADOWS, a ghost st

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