Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Genre: Historical fiction, mystery, horror
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (July 14, 2015)
Source: won in a giveaway
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Miss K’s rating: Awesome, but too scary to finish
About Serafina and the Black Cloak:
An exciting new mystery-thriller about an unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate and must solve a dark and dangerous mystery. This Disney Hyperion novel became a New York Times Bestseller in the first week of its release, and has been a smash hit ever since.
“Never go into 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 Biltmore Estate. There’s plenty to explore in Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt’s vast and oppulent home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion’s hidden doors and secret passageways.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A terrifying man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.
Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy, but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity.
My Thoughts on Serafina and the Black Cloak:
Serafina is visibly different from other people, but nobody knows that. She keeps herself hidden from the residents and guests of Biltmore Estate, where she secretly lives with her Pa in the basement. When children start disappearing from Biltmore, only Serafina knows what happened to them. She proves her mettle as she overcomes her fears and insecurities. She is a strong character with much to offer.
I started reading Serafina and the Black Cloak with my oldest daughter, Miss K, but we only made it through the first chapter together. It is a pretty scary book, and it proved to be too much for her. So I continued reading it by myself. It’s been a really popular book, and it’s easy to see why. It’s become on of my favorite books of the year. The story, setting, and characters are all fantastic. If you’re thinking of giving it to your child to read, make sure you read it first to see if they can handle the spookiness. I would recommend Serafina and the Black Cloak for kids age 10 and up.
Content: Some violence and scary parts
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