Author: Robert Beatty
Middle Grade Fantasy
The book has a great video trailer:
The house was built by the Vanderbilt family and was the largest single family home in the United States. You can learn more about Biltmore Estate by clicking this link. Asheville is a very ecclectic, artistic town. Many artists and authors live there, including Robert Beatty who wrote this book.
The basic plot: Serafina lives in the basement of Biltmore Estate with her father, who is a maintenance worker. She loves to explore the house, and spends her nights catching rats. Suddenly the peaceful life of the grand estate takes a terrible turn when children start disappearing. One night Serafina sees a strange man in a black cloak attack a little girl. The child disappears, and even after several searches of the Estate, no trace of the girl is found. Can Serafina and the Vanderbilt's nephew solve the mystery before more children disappear? Will the missing children be found alive? Who is the man in the black cloak?
This book is written for middle grade children, but I also enjoyed the story! The kids from my son's school often take field trips to Biltmore, so I'm going to donate my book to the school. My son's teacher wants to read it out loud to the class since they visited the estate in December. The mysterious story is age-appropriate. It achieves tension and an interesting creepy mystery without being too graphic or scary for children. The cover art is beautiful!
My rating: 8/10