I read, I write, and I majored in German and Muggle Studies. my favorite genres are historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. Lookout for reviews of the YA and MG persuasions!

review: NEST

Nest - Esther Ehrlich


audience: Middle Grade

author: Esther Ehrlich

published: by Wendy Lamb Books/ Random House Children's, September 9th 2014

*note: I received a digital review copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback.

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summary courtesy of Goodreads: For fans of Jennifer Holm (Penny from Heaven, Turtle in Paradise), a heartfelt and unforgettable middle-grade novel about an irresistible girl and her family, tragic change, and the healing power of love and friendship. In 1972 home is a cozy nest on Cape Cod for eleven-year-old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein, her older sister, Rachel; her psychiatrist father; and her dancer mother. But then Chirp’s mom develops symptoms of a serious disease, and everything changes.

   Chirp finds comfort in watching her beloved wild birds. She also finds a true friend in Joey, the mysterious boy who lives across the street. Together they create their own private world and come up with the perfect plan: Escape. Adventure. Discovery.

   Nest is Esther Ehrlich’s stunning debut novel. Her lyrical writing is honest, humorous, and deeply affecting. Chirp and Joey will steal your heart. Long after you finish Nest, the spirit of Chirp and her loving family will stay with you.


This is one of those books written "for" middle grade readers that should be, and could be read by anyone. Chirp was one of the most delightful narrators I have ever read, and her insights, her thoughts, her actions during the progress of  the book made me tear up in remembrance, not necessarily just in sympathy. This was what it was like to be eleven, to be learning about the things that happen that can't really be explained.

This book will touch you rather you want it to or not.


You're there with Chirp, every step of the way. As an older reader, perhaps you feel the stirrings of dread, imagining what might be coming, remembering the pangs and tight-throated feeling of visiting a drastically changed loved-one...


I don't know if this is a book that my eleven-year-old self might have picked off of a shelf (maybe for the cover, which is beautiful and appears light-hearted). I don't know if this is a book that my eleven-year old self could have appreciated. There are topics and situations in the book that are grim, and dark. I do not want to spoil the ending, but parents may want to consider this if they believe that their child might be sensitive to them.


But it is a poignant story, and I was absolutely captivated by Ms. Ehrlich's narration.


plot: • • • • 

pace/flow: • • • • • 

characters: • • • • • 

"it" factor: • • • • • 

average: 4.75/5

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