Friday, November 21, 2014

Book Review: Nest

With rich characters and a solid plot-line, Nest, by Esther Ehrlich should be be an instant classroom classic. Set in the early 1970's, Nest narrates the life of 12-year old, Naomi "Chirp" Orenstein, her neighbor Joey, and the ups and downs of life on the coast of Cape Cod.

Esther Ehrlich's experience as an oral historian serves her well in her writing, as I can almost hear her the telling the story with the beautiful rhythm and language she uses. This book is a wonderful example of an author staying in character within the perspective of this young girl. Ehrlich clearly shows that she understands how a young girl thinks that her thoughts and actions affect the outcome of situations. Chirp's whole world revolves around how she feels about the what's going on around her, which is so true of girls at that age.

The book also addresses difficult mental health issues in a real and honest way, as Chirp's mother suffers and Chirp tries to control the stability of her family. Staying true to the setting, Ehrlich reminds us that during the '70's, family matters were kept quiet, adults were respected, and childhood seemed unending; things today's social-media teens don't really understand.

This is a memorable novel that every middle-grade student should read, with unforgettable characters that makes family and friendships real and powerful.

*Special thanks to Random House Children's Books through for sharing this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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