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The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls Hardcover – August 28, 2012
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Now the older readers. When I began this book, I immediately thought it was a sort of Stepford Wives for kids. Children, especially strange or odd children, or those who are for any reason outside the norm, are kidnapped, or disappear, only to (sometimes) turn up weeks or months later, transformed. They suddenly fit in; their odd individuality has been excised. As I read on, however, I began to think of this book as a cautionary tale against conformity, perfectionism, and intolerance. For me, the most insightful lines in the book occur when Miss Cavendish, the villain, says to Victoria, the heroine, "You and I are just alike." And the truth is, they are. As Victoria experiences the house in all its horrors, she realizes her own tendencies toward judgmental condemnation of others and love of doing things "just so," attitudes that can lead, in adulthood, to intolerance and bigotry. In addition, Miss Cavendish cannot enact her villainy without the consent and collusion of nearly all the townspeople.Read more ›
This was such a fun story. Plenty of mystery and intrigue and general creepiness. I loved the little bugs that were scattered throughout the story and the few illustrations made this story even more of a delight. Victoria was the kind of girl who needed everything to be perfect. She started hanging around Lawrence for the very reason of making him perfect. He was always quite disheveled with his head in music. Somehow though, Victoria managed to tolerate Lawrence and it seems she even grew fond of him.
Much of this book we are only with Victoria. Lawrence disappears quite early on, so we are tangled up in Victoria's rumination. She seems quite smart and able at this point. She's like a regular Nancy Drew, sleuthing around town. It helps that the grown-ups aren't their usual selves. There are a lot of great characters in this novel, some we only meet briefly but all of them play their parts and play them well.
The Cavendish Home is incredible. Every part of it left me feeling a bit creeped out. I really enjoyed it though, and could picture it vividly in my mind.Read more ›
Victoria lives in Belleville, which suits her, because it's generally lovely, clean and tidy, as is her school, the Academy. In fact, the only thing that makes Belleville less than perfect is the Cavendish Home, and even Victoria knows that it would be rude to complain too much about that. Mrs. Cavendish takes in troubled children who have nowhere else to go and helps them become better boys and girls. With an objective like that, Victoria has to respect her.
But all of that changes when Lawrence disappears. Victoria stops at his house in the morning so that they can walk to school together, as always, but his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Prewitt, inform her that Lawrence is visiting his grandmother. That wouldn't be so strange, except that it's a school day. And Victoria notices that the Prewitts have blank-looking expressions. All the time.
Victoria would be willing to let it go, except that things get stranger and stranger, and more and more adults seem to be taken over by this strange blankness that makes them avoid her questions. Somehow, Victoria knows that Mrs. Cavendish must be involved, but when she goes to the Home and asks even more questions, things get even stranger and scarier.
THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS is, simply put, awesome. A little scary, a little eerie, a little funny, a little sweet, it's a spectacular debut novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was really strange but interesting. I went into this book not really knowing what it was about so you can only imagine my surprise and confusion once I delved into it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Death Note Fanatic
Very creepy, surprisingly so in parts, and if my kids ever do decide they love to read, I hope they leave this one until they're at least, I don't know, nineteen or so. Read morePublished 9 months ago by melissa
Twelve-year-old Victoria Wright believes in perfection. Being top of her class isn’t just an achievement, it’s her right. Her best friend Lawrence Prewitt is nothing like her. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense
Originally reviewed at: http://www.shaelit.com/2013/06/review-the-cavendish-home-for-boys-and-girls-by-claire-legrand/
Cavendish is the type of book I would have loved... Read more
"The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls" is like a creepy giant roach (yes, I used this OBVIOUS comparison ) that crawls up the back of your shirt without you seeing it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Darkxy
Victoria, a perfectionist, befriends Lawrence, a musical slouch. They are an unlikely pair, but when Lawrence disappears, Victoria sets out to find him. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Sunshine on a Rainy Day
Recently, somewhere, I came across Winterspell by Claire Legrand. It was published at the end of September, and when I read the synopsis of the story, it sounded like something I'd... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ink and Page
Review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide
I don’t read a ton of middle grade books, but when Alyssa, Amy and volunteered for the Kids Author Carnival this year... Read more