The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

By Claire Legrand; Sarah Watts (Illustrator)

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9781442442917, 343pp.

Publication Date: August 28, 2012


At the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, you will definitely learn your lesson. A dark, timeless, and heartfelt novel for fans of Coraline and The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster—lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does too.)

But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out…different. Or they don’t come out at all.

If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria—even if it means getting a little messy.

About the Author
Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn't stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now a writer, Ms. Legrand can often be found typing with purpose at her keyboard, losing herself in the stacks at her local library, or embarking upon spontaneous adventures to lands unknown. Her first novel is "The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls", a New York Public Library Best Book for Children in 2012. She is also the author of "The Year of Shadows "and "Winterspell." Claire lives in New Jersey with a dragon and two cats. Visit her at

CATHERINE JINKS was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1963. She grew up in Papua New Guinea and later spent four years studying medieval history at the University of Sydney. After working for several years in a bank, she married a Canadian journalist and lived for a short time in Nova Scotia, Canada. She is now a full-time writer, residing in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales with her husband Peter and their daughter Hannah.Catherine is a three-time winner of the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year award, and has also won a Victorian Premier's Literature Award, the Ena Noel Award for Children's Literature, and an Aurealis Award for Science Fiction. In 2001 she was presented with a Centenary Medal for her contribution to Australian Children's Literature.

Praise For The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is weirdly charming and creepy. I loved the intrepid girl hero Victoria and her determination to save her best friend from the scariest Home ever. An enormously fun--and shivery--read.
-Sarah Prineas, author of The Magic Thief series

"A heartwarming friendship tale—played out amid carpets of chittering insects, torture both corporal and psychological, the odd bit of cannibalism and like ghoulish delights. A thoroughgoing ickfest, elevated by vulnerable but resilient young characters and capped by a righteously ominous closing twist."

" The too-serene-to-be-true town of Belleville harbors some creepy secrets in Legrand's debut, a sinister and occasionally playful tale of suspense. Legrand gives Victoria's mission a prickly energy, and her descriptions of the sighing, heaving home—a character in itself—are the stuff of bad dreams. Watts's b&w illustrations of spindly characters, cryptic shadows, and cramped corridors amplify the unsettling ambiance, and her roach motif may have readers checking their arms."

"Insidiously creepy, searingly sinister, and spine-tinglingly fun, this book also presents a powerful message about friendship and the value of individuality."
-Joy Fleishhacker