The first time Laura saw the house she thought it was enchanted. Looking up at the long elegant windows, with their small balconies and intricate wrought-iron decoration, she thought she had never seen anything so beautiful. She couldn’t believe that they were going to live in such a beautiful fairytale world.
The kids at school say that the Visconti house, where Laura lives, is haunted. They say that it’s creepy. But Laura loves the house, and the memories with which it is filled. The house is the only good thing about the family’s move to the country. Laura hates her new town – and especially going to school, where she feels like an outsider. And, when a strange new boy comes to town, Laura is determined not to have anything to do with him, worried that any association would make her seem even more strange.
But when Laura unearths a mystery about Mr Visconti, the man who built the house, it is Leon who helps her and as their friendship grows, Laura discovers they have more in common than she thought. Exploring Mr Visconti’s sad history also helps both children to put their own lives into perspective.
The Visconti House is a tale of friendship, family and mystery, set in the present day. Laura and Leon experience problems which many readers will relate to, particularly the struggle to fit in and to be comfortable with self-identity, as well as bigger issues including the loss of a parent. At the same time, they work together to piece together the history of the previous owner of Laura’s house, a process which will absorb young readers.
Suitable for upper primary aged readers, The Visconti House will especially appeal to girls.
The Visconti House, by Elsbeth Edgar
Walker Books, 2009
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