Publisher's Note:  

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.


by Esther Ehrlich

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Overall Review:  

I try to read children's books every once in a while, not only to stay relevant, but also because when I read them, I get transported back to my childhood--a childhood filled with books and reading. Many children's books have the most beautiful covers, and sometimes I find myself in the picture book section of Barnes & Noble, drooling over the beautiful illustrations and words, and wondering why adult books don't have pretty pictures too.


The cover of this book is adorable, and is what initially attracted me to it. The name of the book, Nest, might seem a little cryptic at first, but when you get to the end of this book you will see the meaning behind the title. I spent only a few hours reading this book, but I wish it would have lasted longer. Naomi (better known as "Chirp") is a rambunctious young girl coming of age in the 1970's. It's been a difficult year for her--a year of wishing she could become something as wonderful as her mother and older sister, a year of frustration and of yearning for approval. There were many times throughout this book that I could feel Chirp struggling to get her emotions out in the right form, and how she felt a little smothered by the hold her parents had on her. Many kids will be able to relate to these feelings and find a bit of themselves inside this story. I know I did.

Nest is a heart-touching book that you won't want to miss--one of adventure, dedication, and heartbreak. This is a book that would be a wonderful pick for an elementary level book club or discussion, or even a perfect gift for that book-loving child in your life.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 1 religious exclamation; 3 mild obscenities; 4 scatological words.


Violence/Gore:  A character is mentioned to have committed suicide by drowning; bullying is mentioned to occur.


Sex/Nudity:  Sex is referred to; "making sex" is mentioned by a child; clinical nudity occurs once; a mature discussion regarding sex occurs between two minors.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Depression, death of a parent, mental health issues.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Minors smoke at a party; drugs are referred to.

Reviewed By Lydia
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