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Serafina and the Black Cloak

(Serafina #1)

by
3.93  ·  Rating details ·  21,380 ratings  ·  3,342 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
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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  · 
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Lola
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
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Pamela
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
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Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com)
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,
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Neil (or bleed)
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5

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
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Claudia {SparrowHawk}
description

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
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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
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Sarah
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.
Erica
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
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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.
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
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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 (www.flylef.com)

“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
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Jessica
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
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Bonnie
“…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
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Angela
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...
Patty
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
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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
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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.
☯~☽~•Patricia Mainard•~☾~☯
I really enjoyed this book.
Yvonne (It's All About Books)
brserafinaandtheblackcloak
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)
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Wealhtheow
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
Tracy (Cornerfolds)


Middle grade books are not regular fare for me, but when I saw the cover of Serafina and the Black Cloak, I just HAD to know more! And when I found out it was a "spooky mystery-thriller" with the Biltmore Estate as its setting I was all but jumping up and down in anticipation! The premise of this book is so exciting and unique and I had to know what was going on with the Man in the Black Cloak!


---Characters---
The main character is, as you may have guessed, Serafina. She lives in the basement of
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Athena
Jul 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: skip this one
Well that was rather disappointing ...

This is a solidly middle-school targeted book for the 8-12 year old group. It follows title character Serafina, a girl with some personal mysteries who lives with her "Pa" in the basement of the Biltmore mansion, unnoticed by any other servants. Even a 10 year old might have problems with that premise but there are many more little problems with this book that add up to an "I'd skip it" verdict: one-dimensional characters and situations that don't stand up
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Kim at Divergent Gryffindor
Actual rating: 3.5

Something you must know about me is that I don't usually read middle grade books now that I am almost an adult, but there was just something about the synopsis of Serafina and the Black Cloak that drew me in. And while I didn't really love this book, I enjoyed it.

Thinking of this one as a kid, I think I would have really loved it. I would have rated it 4.5, maybe. But as an 18-year-old girl, I'm rating it only 3.75 stars. I really liked the plot of this book, and I think that
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BAM The Bibliomaniac
Seraphina is a "creature of the night". Creatures of the night are awesome. Just ask Tim Curry. (Insert Rocky here)

Sera lives in the basement of the Biltmore with her man-of-all-trades father who works for the Vanderbilts. During a large overnight gathering Sera witnesses a disappearing act that resounds through the whole house and send repercussions through the entire storyline. On her quest for the truth Sera befriends the master of the mansion, Brayden, and his Doberman, Geordie. There is a b
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Ari
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's a very fun read.

I've been sneaking peeks at the middle-grade book section lately and so far have spotted a few gems.

Serafina is so likable, witty, smart, loving and loyal...she would have been the kind of character I'd love to meet/read at her age. And the story in this book is both magical and just dark enough to be thrilling.

I enjoyed the mystery, I really liked the story and the power and the workings of the Black Cloak and how it was incorporated in the novel, and I'm definitely wanting
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Tanja Berg
I picked this up in the States, one of many books. I single-mindedly went after books I had never heard of and that weren’t on my to-read shelf from before. This wasn’t a top pick.

Sometimes books for young readers can be truly inspiring. This one was rather boring with incomplete world building. The ending was surprisingly good, but couldn’t make up for the drudge to get there.

I’m at Helsinki airport and I will leave the book here. It didn’t take well to sauna last night either.
Bridgit Morgan
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I was definitely not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did! Serafina was a unique, memorable middle-grade character, and I look forward to the second book in the series. This novel felt somewhat like a dark Tim Burton movie, which I really loved.
Britt
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-review
Sometimes i just really love the light feel of MG. This was adorable.
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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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1,240 followers
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
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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.” 97 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.” 34 likes
More quotes…