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Serafina and the Black Cloak

(Serafina #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  20,904 ratings  ·  3,291 reviews
“Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There’s plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and h
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published July 14th 2015 by Disney•Hyperion
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Robert Beatty I have explored and studied Biltmore's rooms and corridors extensively. I've just always loved Biltmore Estate. Whenever I'm there, I imagine stories…moreI have explored and studied Biltmore's rooms and corridors extensively. I've just always loved Biltmore Estate. Whenever I'm there, I imagine stories about the people who might have lived there. When I wrote "Serafina and the Black Cloak" I wanted to give my daughters a story about a very unusual, but very heroic girl who lives at Biltmore Estate.(less)
Robert Beatty I have loved so many books, it's hard to name just a few, but when I was young, I especially loved The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien), The Once and Future…moreI have loved so many books, it's hard to name just a few, but when I was young, I especially loved The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien), The Once and Future King (T.H. White), Men of Iron (Howard Pyle), and dark fantasy books by Gene Wolfe. As I got older, I fell in love with Jane Austen, Hemingway, and Dickens. One of my favorite stories/writers of all time is The Man Who Planted Trees by French writer Jean Giono. It's a simple, beautiful story. More recently, I loved The Witch at Blackbird Pond (Elizabeth George Speare).(less)

Community Reviews

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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,904 ratings  ·  3,291 reviews

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Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it
One thing’s for sure: this book can make an interesting Halloween read for young readers.

The mysterious, elusive, creature-ish, cloaked man who kidnaps children terrifies Serafina and her new friend. But Sera is courageous, so she will find the missing children and bring back order to Biltmore!

Or die trying.

It took me a good while to get into this book. The writing is rather dry, especially at first, when so many descriptions are made about Biltmore and its residents and nothing of grand interes
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Evidently, I have difficulty spelling the word "cloak." I just typed it in about six different iterations before I achieved the proper spelling. I mean, Serafina and the Black Cloaca would probably be an interesting book--most certainly a foul one--but that's not what Robert Beatty wrote. But I would totally read it. Imagine: a spunky Roman girl finds hints of a mysterious plot at the Forum and gets around the city by swimming the Cloaca Maxima. No? No book deal?

Well, actually, that's kind of th
Review also found at: https://theparanormalpaladin.wordpres...

Serafina is a 12 year old girl who lives in the Vanderbilt mansion, called the Biltmore Estate, with her pa. Well, they don't exactly live there properly. They secretly live in the basement and no one knows she exists. Her pa is the maintenance man and never really told her about where she came from or who her mother was, until a man in a black cloak comes and children start disappearing.

So this is probably not exactly "Young Adult,
Neil (or bleed)
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it

I can say I am lucky in terms of middle grade novel these days since I liked every middle grade novel I've read lately. Or maybe, just maybe, these books tug the child in me so a part of me liked the books eventually. Serafina and the Black Cloak is not an exemption.

This precious little book is a middle grade novel about Serafina (obviously) and her adventure together with her friend Braeden in unraveling the true identity of the Black Cloak Man. And also, her peculiarity and finding her sel
Claudia {SparrowHawk}

Serafina and the Black Cloak was a one-of-a-kind mystery thriller, peppered with an old fashioned ambiance and ominous tone. I was entranced from the very beginning - it's the kind of story that grants you an escape from reality and an entirety of reading enjoyment.

Thus, if you are looking for a story that captivities through a blend of character-driven story surrounded by an unsettling, chilling, beautiful and haunting setting, then be sure to pick up this one up! It is unquestionably, a middl
Jeff Raymond
Closer to a 1.5. I *really* didn't like this book.

I'm a firm believer that kids need creepy. There's a reason Goosebumps and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark have persevered over time, and Serafina and the Black Cloak tries pretty hard to be in that same vein, but ends up wildly missing the mark.

Serafina is a girl who was found in the woods, battered and broken. Taken in by a man and kept secret for the first decade or so of her life, she is witness to a strange disappearance that she feels uni
Dec 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z2015, ebook, childrens
This was kind of disappointing. I don't know what I was expecting but this book was very slow. While I was learning about Seraphina and her life at the start it was interesting but then the story almost completely halted. It was just description after description and I was getting bored. The characters were one-dimensional and didn't seem very authentic. The story was quite predictable but it wasn't a horrible story. I might read the next one as I'm willing to give it a chance but I'll see.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 8-12 year old kids who like spooky(ish) adventures
I saw the book trailer for this and thought, "Hmmm. Fascinating. I want to read this."
Turns out, that trailer is pretty much the abridged version of the entire story.

I'd 2.5 this puppy. It's not bad but I've come to expect better from Disney-Hyperion. I had some problems as a grown-up reader.

The first thing that bothered me: speech patterns are all over the place, especially for Serafina who hops between uneducated vernacular (she calls horses “hoof-stompers” as if she had to make up her own wor
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC (about an hour north of me), this middle-grade novel has everything! An independent female protagonist with unique abilities, a mystery, some fantastical elements, historical setting, and gorgeous rooms and clothing.

And since Disney is the publisher, they were able to get the actual location to film their book trailer.
Lonna | FLYLēF
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-challenge
FLYLēF Book Reviews

Original Post: Serafina and the Black Cloak at FLYLēF (

“NEVER GO INTO the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”

Step into the wonderfully whimsical world of Serafina and the Black Cloak, by Robert Beatty, and chances are, you'll be completely enchanted by its magical setting, valiant young heroes, and dark mysteries.

Mr. Beatty deftly builds a unique world full of beautiful details that effortlessly drew me in. Nestled in a
Tiffany PSquared
"There are many mysteries in the world, both dark and bright."

Serafina lives in the basement of the magnificent Biltmore mansion, the home of the wealthy and influential Vanderbilt family. She's lived there all of her life with her Pa taking care of her, but the Vanderbilts have no idea that she's even alive.

And they probably never would have, that is until one of the Vanderbilt's young guests mysteriously disappears and Serafina, herself, witnesses what happens to her: something dark and unexpl
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
A strange and gothic tale set at the very real Biltmore Mansion. Serafina is an uncanny child, with many secrets, but she's not the only one. I was a little freaked out by some of the secrets, to be honest, but it was definitely an exciting and very unusual book!
Kayla Edwards
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A fantastical thriller that takes place in the early days of the gorgeous Biltmore Estate? Count me in! When I found out about the existence of this book, I was elated. Biltmore has always been one of my favorite places to visit; it fascinates me. The way real details of the house and estate have been woven into this remarkable story about Serafina and her pursuit of the Black Cloak is inspired. Having been there myself, it was easy to imagine our heroine prowling through the halls at night. And ...more
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
“Did evil creatures think of themselves as evil? Or did they think they were doing what was right? Was evil something that was in your heart or was it how people viewed you?”

I had very high hopes from this book, I'm not even sure why. I just thought it was going to be one of those gems you stumble onto, sadly it didn't live up to the hype I had set-up in my head.

For the most part, this book was fairly good. The writing was solid, again for the most part and the lead character was interesti
Patry Fernandez
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: año-2016
«No son las batallas que ganamos o perdemos las que nos definen, sino aquellas que estamos dispuestos a librar.»

Reseña completa ->
Paul Nash
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a fun and intriguing story!

I really wish there had been the YA selection there is now, when I was a child of the 80's. I would have loved these books even more if I'd gotten to read them as an actual YA.

This is a great little fairytale and I'll definitely read the next one. My kids will love it too.
Serafina is a strong little girl, in spirit and in nature. With the right pick, she'd make a great character for the big screen.

This was a different story, not your usual kind of YA fairytale
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Мрачна, мистериозна и напълно невероятна история за едно малко момиче, търсещо мястото си в света.

Създанената атмосфера в книгата беше уникална и определено влезнах в тъмния сюжет! Чудесна книга както за деца, така и за възрастни!
“…our world is filled with many mysteries, things we don’t understand. Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, both dark and bright, and they will ensnare your soul.”

Biltmore Estate is large enough to have kept a secret for over a decade: deep within its basement lives a man and his daughter, named Serafina. Serafina’s father is in charge of the buildings maintenance but he would be tossed out in a heartbeat if it were discovered he also resided there. And
DNF at 11%

There's nothing in particular wrong with this book. The writing is fine - poetical at times - the characters are interesting. There is stuff going on...but it's happening at about a snail's pace. There's so much explaining of everything that I'm bored in between, waiting for stuff to happen.

I'm not entirely sure this is the book's fault - I think it's probably me...
Milena Tasheva
Снощи най-после успях да я дочета. Много е гадно да знаеш края, обаче не и как героите стигат до него.
Хубава детска книга с необходимата доза мрак, за да учи на разни неща и да е искрена.
Melina Souza
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Resenha em breve :)
Jefi Sevilay
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harry Potter serisi kurgu, karakterler, ortam ve hissiyat açısından 10 üzerinden 8 ve Percy Jackson aynı değerlendirmede 3 alırsa (2-5 yaş arası alfabe kitaplarını 1-2 olarak yazıyorum) bu kitap da olsa olsa 10 üzerinden 5 olur. Hani kime önerirsin derseniz 8-12 yaş arası korkumsu gerilimsi mistik hikayeler okumak isteyen çocuklara öneririm. Ceylan cesetleri, parçalanan bedenler, mezarlık hikayeleri gibi çocukların kaçınması gereken öğeler var ama yazım yaşı bundan daha öte değil.

Percy Jackson'd
A School Librarian’s take on this book:

Who and what defines good and bad? Twelve year old Serafina tackles this question and many more in Serafina and the Black Cloak. Uniquely set in the historical, Vanderbilt Biltmore Estate and surrounding forests of North Carolina, the author has captivated the essential coming-of-age struggles we all must reconcile: What is normal? Who is a true friend and why is it so difficult to find them? Why am I different?

Although this story is set in 1899 and is hist
Scott Bischke
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure last week of reading an advance copy of Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. Serafina, to be published by Disney, is a page-turner that is sure to be a hit with the younger set (as well as many adults, like me!).

Serafina and the Black Cloak is an adventure/mystery that takes place at the Vanderbilt Biltmore Estate deep in rural North Carolina. Dark, foreboding woods surround the estate. Our heroine, Serafina, has a mysterious past somehow tied to that frightening fo
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
En realidad un 3,5.

Serafina y la capa negra es un middle-grade muy diferente, me ha sorprendido que fuera tan tenebroso y misterioso teniendo en cuenta el público al que está enfocado. Tenemos una niña distinta al resto, misteriosas desapariciones relacionadas con un hombre que lleva una capa negra, secretos, misterio y algo de fantasía, todo ello perfectamente hilado hasta culminar en un desenlace muy emocionante. Me gusta que el autor vaya dejando pistas por aquí y por allá del hombre de la ca
Лунната мечтателка
Любимата ми (не) детска книга

„Серафина и черния плащ” попадна съвсем неочаквано в библиотеката ми. Отдавна спрях да чета детски книги, затова и първоначално пропуснах да я включа в списъка си за четене...

цялото ревю може да прочетете в блога ми - https://the-book-tigers-diary-reviews...
Sue Alieva
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Изумена съм. Напоследък чета повече middle grade книги и осъзнавам колко съм изгубила с изключването на тези книги от списъците ми за четене. Толкова са леки и увлекателни и всъщност точно такива са тези така отпускащи почивки от ежедневието. Ако още не сте я прочели ви я препоръчвам сърдечно. <3
Laura Harrison
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How I loved Serafina! Absolutely marvelous, creepy, fun, atmospheric read. I read it all in one sitting. I think many young people will do so as well. Great title.
Yvonne (It's All About Books)
Finished reading: January 6th 2016
Rating 4qqq

“Our character isn’t defined by the battles we win or lose, but by the battles we dare to fight.”

(view spoiler)
Aug 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Serafina lives in the basement of the Bilmore House, unseen by any but her pa. They've lived there secretly since the house was built, and her pa has always cautioned her never to be seen. So Serafina scuttles around the house at night, taking joy in catching any rat she comes across. (That she catches them and then throws them outside the Houses's walls is my first annoyance--it seems so anachronistic and against (view spoiler).) Then ...more
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~ Serafina and Wi...: Serafina and the Black Cloak 1 1 Jan 23, 2019 07:42AM  
Lit Chicks Podcast: Serafina and the Black Cloak 1 3 May 28, 2018 01:22PM  
Around the Year i...: Serafina and the Black Cloak, by Robert Beatty 6 51 Sep 10, 2017 02:52PM  
Book Ramblings: Serafina series 12 8 Jan 01, 2017 11:55AM  
Bookworm Bitches : September 2016: Serafina and The Black Cloak 6 61 Oct 28, 2016 09:30AM  
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Robert Beatty is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Serafina series published by Disney Hyperion, a spooky mystery-thriller about a brave and unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate.
Serafina and the Black Cloak was a #1 New York Times best seller, has been on the list for more than 60 weeks, and won the prestigious 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Pr

Other books in the series

Serafina (4 books)
  • Serafina and the Twisted Staff (Serafina, #2)
  • Serafina and the Splintered Heart (Serafina, #3)
  • Serafina and the Seven Stars (Serafina #4)
“Our character isn’t defined by the battles we win or lose, but by the battles we dare to fight.” 95 likes
“Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, both dark and bright, and they will ensnare your soul.” 33 likes
More quotes…