Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Robert Beatty
Serafina hides in the basement of the Vanderbilt estate with her father. No one but him knows of her existence. Her father works as a maintenance man for the Vanderbilt family, but lives, uninvited, in the basement, hence the hiding. Serafina longs for company, for friends and for the elegance she so often spies on. When children start disappearing from the Vanderbilt parties one by one, nobody knows who the perpetrator is or what happens once they disappear. Serafina is the only one with a clue, due to a close encounter with the man in the black cloak herself, and assigns herself the task of saving the children.
In this spine-chilling tale, readers will sit close to sorcery, enchantments, and dark magic. While it is sometimes hard to set this book aside, it is also sometimes hard on your heart to keep going due to the creepy nature of the story. The details and circumstances Beatty creates are fascinating, mind-boggling and alluring. Middle school or high school students, both boys and girls, can enjoy Serafina and the Black Cloak if they can stomach the intensity. Serafina teaches readers that looks aren't a strong foundation for judgement, that friends can be found in unlikely characters, and that a little determination coupled with a lot of grit can allow for victory.