Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there and they will ensnare your soul.
- from the book flap
The sound came closer and closer until the Man in the Black Cloak was right outside the door.... Serafina could hear him breathing. She picked up the foul scent of the cloak as the stench wafted through the crack under the door.
The Black Cloak began its slow, slithering, rattling motion.
The doorknob slowly turned.
- from the back cover
I loved this book. It just goes to show you that you can get recommendations for a great book from places you might not expect. One of the new 5th grade students in our school is a real reader. I'm sure you guys know what I mean. We could tell he has a passion for books right away. In the beginning of the year, he kept talking about this book, "Serafina and the Black Cloak" and how much he loved it. Well, his enthusiasm was contagious and the librarian bought that book for our library. And, of course, as soon as it came in, I had to take it home and read it. I am so glad I did.
Serafina and her father live in the basement of the Biltmore Estate and the Vanderbilts live upstairs. The residents and guests have no idea that Serafina exists. Her father has always warned her to stay hidden. However, when Serafina sees the Man in the Black Cloak attack a young girl, even though she is terrified, she knows she has to do something. Even if it means exposing her existence and maybe getting kicked out of the only home she has ever known.
Take a look at the words from the back cover (see above). Those words gave me chills and they are the perfect setup for this scary story. Serafina and Braeden are young, but incredibly brave in the face of supernatural evil. The suspense in this story is amazing and there are plenty of scary moments. If the words above scare you or your child, then this book isn't for you. If those words appeal to you or scare you in a good way, then read this book.
I would say 5th graders who enjoy scary stories, but if Goosebumps scares them, then stay away or you will have company in your bed. ;)