Must Read Monday (47): Looking at Fall 2016 Releases (Part 2)

Continuing on with a Must Read Monday feature on Fall 2016 releases!…

This week’s Must Read Monday is a little bit different. I’ve been looking through various sources (review journals, publisher’s sites, Goodreads, blogs, etc.) as is my norm, but my to-be read pile has grown tremendously in a short span! This is due, in part, to all of the incredible books that are slated for Fall 2016 release! Some favourite authors and/or illustrators are releasing new titles or sequels, and there are new-to-me and/or debut authors with terrific sounding and terrifically reviewed titles.

You can take a look at my picks for Part 1 here!

Here, in no particular order, are my picks for Part 2:

 

The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart
Expected publication: September 27, 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
Expected publication: September 20, 2016 by HarperCollins Canada

Foxheart by Claire Legrand, illus. Jaime Zollars
Expected publication: October 4, 2016 by Greenwillow Books

Today by Julie Morstad
Expected publication: September 2, 2016 by Simply Read Books

Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems
Expected publication: October 25, 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
Expected publication: September 6, 2016 by First Second

Mooncop by Tom Gauld
Expected publication: September 20, 2016 by Drawn and Quarterly

Razzle Dazzle Unicorn: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson
Expected publication: September 20, 2016 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Happy as a Clam: The Twenty-First Sherman’s Lagoon Collection by Jim Toomey
Expected publication: September 20, 2016 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Stephan’s Web: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan Pastis
Expected publication: November 22, 2016 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

*For the purposes of these posts, ‘Fall’ will include some August, September and October, possibly some November 2016 releases

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Review: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

cavendishhomeReview: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand, illus. Sarah Watts

Source: Hardcover, Published August 28, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Verdict: Very Good

Book Description:

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.

The book is described as a combination of Neil Gaiman and Trenton Lee Stewarts’ Mysterious Benedict Society. And it is, but it is also its own wonderfully sinister creation. This is not a writer nor story that sugarcoats disturbing events! Part fable, part fairy tale, and all horror story, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is a veritably frightening, gruesome, and beautifully written story.

Victoria Wright likes everything to be just so. She is a perfect student, an overachiever, and top of her class (well, in everything but music). Lawrence, a disheveled classmate and brilliant piano player, is taken on by Victoria as a project. She hopes that Lawrence will learn from her perfection or, at the very least, that she may make him over as a more put-together, presentable boy. But as their peculiar friendship grows, strange and malevolent things are happening in their picturesque town of Belleville. Cold, forceful winds; strange whisperings; scuttling, noisy pinching roaches; and a frightening talk with a teacher prick Victoria’s interest- and annoyance. It seems that only Victoria notices that adults and classmates around her are acting very strange, very robotic, and unlike themselves…and she seems to be the only one who dares question things when children and adults alike start disappearing at monstrous rates. When Lawrence disappears, Victoria takes it upon herself to uncover and discover the Cavendish home- and bring Lawrence back.

I think Legrand really excels in making her descriptions of the supernatural and terrifying occurrences inspire intense emotion. There is something to be said for a children’s novel which can invite emotional and visceral reactions. There are more than a few passages where I felt uncomfortable, blanched more than a little bit, and more than a few passages where I felt such a venomous hatred for the villains of the story that I had to close my eyes! I would recommend this read to anyone who enjoys macabre fairy-tales, and/or writing along the lines of J.K. Rowling, Jane Yolen, Jackson Pearce, Neil Gaiman, Gail Carson Levine, and the Brothers Grimm. I thought the ending of the novel was so very ominous (and devious) that it left me wondering if we may ever hear about Victoria or The Cavendish Home again.

Note: This review, written by me, originally appeared on Fabbity Fab Book Reviews. Minor edits may have been made.