Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 4 - 6n/a5.968924
A brave and unusual girl named Serafina lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate amidst the splendor of the Gilded Age. Serafina's pa, the estate's maintenance man, has warned her to keep herself hidden from the fancy folk who live on the floors above, but when children at the estate start disappearing, Serafina and her friend Braeden Vanderbilt must work together to solve a dark and dangerous mystery. This page-turning thriller from Disney-Hyperion is a #1 New York Times Bestseller, has been on the bestsellers list for more than 50 weeks, and is already being taught in over a thousand classrooms nationwide. It also won the prestigious 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize for "representing the best in Southern literature." A blend of history, mystery, and magic, this new series has become a favorite for both adults and young readers (8+). Be sure to watch the book trailer in the media section below.
"Never go into the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt's vast and opulent home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion's hidden doors and secret passageways.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A mysterious man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy, but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published on June 14, 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
ISBN-10: 1484711874
ISBN-13: 9781484711873
37 Book Reviews
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  • springchick114
    springchick114Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 2:53 pm55 stars
    This is an amazing book and since it includes mermaids, I love it. I love any books that include mermaids. I think it has a creepy touch to it and has a thrilling chill that will creep up your spine. IT is awesome.
    • levi0sa
      levi0saThursday, June 22, 2017 at 1:10 pm55 stars
      I loooved this book! It was thrilling and there was a mystery. I found out about this book when we visited the Biltmore Estate. The author was there signing books which was really cool. I am happy I read it after visiting the Biltmore Estate because I could really picture it when I was reading.
      • levi0sa
        levi0saThursday, June 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm55 stars
        I looooved this book. I was a great mystery. We found it when we took a trip to Biltmore Estates and the author was there signing books. So cool! I would recommend this book for anyone that likes mysteries.
        • readingkendal
          readingkendalWednesday, June 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm55 stars
          This book is soooooooooooooooooooooooo good!!!! It is about a girl who was born in the forest and does not know why. She lives in Biltmore Estate's basement. She befriends the young master and works on solving the mystery of why and where the children went with him. If you like mystery and magic read this!!!
          • callie_b
            callie_bThursday, June 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm55 starsFeatured
            This book blew my mind! I was definitely not expecting this! Serafina and her pa live secretly in the basement of the great Biltmore Estate, and Serafina can never reveal her identity to anybody, as instructed by her father. But why? Serafina wonders if she is different than any other human, if she's a creature of the night. She has uncommon big amber eyes, unlike anyone she had ever seen, and this makes her question her heritage. But Serafina must put those thoughts aside. One night as she prowls the Estate in darkness (just the way she likes it) Serafina sees a man in a black cloak attempting to capture a little girl in a yellow dress. She springs into action, but Serafina is too late. With a narrow escape, Serafina is able to make it to safety. But the other kids aren't as lucky. Every night after that, a child goes missing. Connecting the dots, Serafina and her new friend Braeden make it their quest to figure out who the man in the black cloak really is and defeat him for good! And will Serafina ever find her family roots? After reading this book, I was in awe! The masterful writing of the author was a perfect touch onto this epic tale! 5 stars!! I can't wait to read the 2nd book!
            • addglitter
              addglitterMonday, June 5, 2017 at 5:39 am44 stars
              This was a pretty good mystery. I would like to recommend it to any thrill lover who doesn't have the stomach for anything too crazy :D. Read this book and make sure to check out the next book in the series!
              • ajg15
                ajg15Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 10:03 am44 stars
                Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pan and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore estate. There's plenty to explore in her grand house , although she must take care to never to be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exist. She and her pa , the estates maintenance man , have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina remembers. - but when children start disappearing , only Serafina knows who the culprint is : the man in the bnbnlack cloak😱 he steals children in the night🌃! This book is full of Adventure , Sadness , and harrowing escapes!!!!!!!!!! A Must Read!!!!! 4/5🌟
                • ajg15
                  ajg15Monday, June 5, 2017 at 2:05 pm44 stars
                  Sorry about the spelling mistakes!!! #myenemyautocorrect
                • at41569
                  at41569Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 4:22 pm55 stars
                  This book is so interesting! If you read part of it, you'll always be anxious to know what happens next. The idea for this book is mysterious. When you finish this book, you will be sad that there isn't more.
                  • rbm100
                    rbm100Friday, June 2, 2017 at 2:27 pm55 stars
                    This book is the best book ever I wonder why his face looks like wonder what happened to his face. I recommend this book read it
                    • genetzoe
                      genetzoeMonday, May 29, 2017 at 4:22 pm55 stars
                      I could not put this book down! I loved the suspense as Serafina learned more about not only the black cloak, but herself. I can't wait to read the next book!

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