Featured Book: The Cavendish Home For Boys and Girls (2012)

Overview:

This story takes place in a small town with very particular, pretty people. Victoria, who prides herself on her perfect grades, tidy appearance, and successful parents, has only one friend Lawrence. Untidy, quiet but very talented musically, he one day disappears after acting very strangely at school. Unable to shake an uncomfortable feeling something is terribly wrong, Victoria looks for him. However, everyone either doesn’t remember him or insists he has gone to help his grandmother out of town. Determined to find him, she not only learns who has taken Lawrence, but other children have gone missing.

Thoughts and Feelings:

I read this book several times in a row the first time I found it. I am always on the lookout for creepy books in October, and I bought this one when Hastings was still open. I have a particular weakness for creepy children’s’ books, especially those whose characters face and defeat evil. Like much of children’s media, I feel these kinds of books help readers understand they have the power to withstand and fight evil in their lives.

The lessons in this story were very striking to me. It spoke of familiar issues we have in our society, the kind which lurks under the surface. Some examples include:

  1. Individuality vs. Conformity
  2. Productivity vs. Creativity
  3. Facing Abuse and Pain without Losing our Compassion
  4. Courage in the face of Fear
  5. The Power of having a voice and not being silenced

Claire Legrand has written other wonderful books like Some Kind of Happiness (2016) and Foxheart (2016), yet this one is my favorite. It’s creepy like Coraline (2006), and it teaches important lessons about courage and facing abusive people. All in all, I love how it portrays characters who victoriously faced and defeated evil. I recommend this book to anyone who loves creepy books with a sprinkling of real-life concerns. 

Favorite Quotes:

Victoria nodded briskly, stamped the postcard, and smiled, running her fingers over Lawrence’s name. She would send it to him from the city train station, and he would receive it the next day, right before she showed up to surprise him, and he would pick her up with the force of his hug and whirl her around, and she would scold him to not do that, for goodness’ sake, but she would know —– and so would he —- that she did actually very much want him to do that.

Pg.341-342 The Cavendish Home For Boys and Girls (2012), Claire Legrand

Lawrence disappeared the next day, Tuesday, which had always been Victoria’s least favorite day of the week because it had no point to it. Monday was the beginning. Wednesday was the middle. Thursday was a prelude to Friday. Friday was the end. Saturday and Sunday were for studying, cleaning, getting ahead on everything, and sometimes shopping. . . Given all that, Tuesday was simply a placeholder.

Pg. 37 The Cavendish Home For Boys and Girls (2012), Claire Legrand

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