Published by Disney-Hyperion
Summary: Serafina’s always been pretty happy living in the basement of the Biltmore estate with her Pa. Sure, she’s a little different than other kids and her existence is a secret, but she enjoys prowling through the house at night, catching rats. Then one night she sees a man in a black cloak abducting a little girl. When he wraps the girl in his cloak, she disappears. Serafina barely escapes herself, but when she tries to tell her story the next morning, only one person believes her. That’s Braeden Vanderbilt, the nephew of the estate’s owner, whose tragic past has made him a bit of a loner as well. As more children vanish from the estate, Serafina and Braeden team up to try to figure out who the mysterious man is and what can be done to stop him…before it’s too late for them. Grades 5-7.
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFZvSzfnm6I
Pros: This would be a great choice to teach the term “gothic novel”. Lots of dark creepiness everywhere, relieved only at the end when Serafina proves herself a true heroine and learns the amazing truth about her own past.
Cons: Preview this before giving it to a child. Pretty scary stuff, and occasionally a bit gruesome as well.