Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Cavendish Home For Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

Friends can be messy. And Victoria does not like mess of any kind. She likes perfection in all areas of her life from her appearance to her grades to her home life. She prides herself on her perfect hair, her perfectly organized bedroom and mostly her flawless grades. The only complication she allows into her life is one extremely messy friend named Lawrence. When Lawrence goes missing, Victoria realizes that all the children in her seemingly perfect town, who are a little different in some way, have all disappeared. She traces the disappearances to the mysterious Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls where children seem to go into but never come out. The problem is Victoria is the only one who seems to notice that the children are gone. Even their parents seem strangely unaware.

Once Victoria gains entry into Cavendish, the mystery only heightens. It's run by an ominous headmistress who takes delight in torturing the children, who are held captive, using their specific weakness against them. The walls and floors seem to move of their own accord and the rooms are crawling with insects that are capable of carrying off any rule breaking children.

As Victoria and her friend Lawrence manage to bring down the evil Mrs. Cavendish and save their friends from her clutches, she learns that being different and having "mess" in your life are the things that make life rich and interesting.

While the message of this book is important and the plot definitely holds the reader's interest, the story is incredibly creepy and dark. Scenes of children being physically and emotionally tortured may be extremely difficult for some children to tolerate. Lovers of horror stories will enjoy the story but caution should be used when recommending this book.

P.Sassoon. 2013.

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