Serafina and the Black Cloak
Twelve-year-old Serafina isn’t quite like other girls. She has golden eyes, not a single friend, and lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate with her father, the estate’s maintenance man. Unknown to the Vanderbilt family, she styles herself the Chief Rat Catcher and roams the estate each night. But she’s not the only one. A mysterious figure in a black cloak with superhuman powers has been snatching visiting children. But he’s met his match in Serafina, who’s wily, tough, and determined to not let him take another soul. With Braeden, the Vanderbilts’ lonely nephew, Serafina forges a friendship and gains an ally in her hunt for the man in the black cloak.
Serafina narrates with an engaging voice that draws the reader into her world. The setting is just as engaging: the Biltmore drips with opulence and the surrounding forest with sufficient eeriness. Light on history, but big on plot, Serafina has enough mystery and fantasy (with a fair amount of creepiness) to satisfy young readers.
Serafina and the Black Cloak is one of my favorite books I have ever read. It is a story that is a mix of genres. The book fits into the categories of historical fiction, fantasy, mystery, and paranormal. In this story, Serafina learns the power of bravery and friendship. It is so fabulously written that I could not think of a book that used as much description as in this story. Serafina and the Black Cloak is so realistic that I felt like I was being drawn into the story and that I was living all of Serafina’s adventures. I recommend Serafina and the Black Cloak for people of all ages.
Ellen Brockmole, age 11