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The Nest (Ala Notable Children's Books. Middle Readers) Hardcover – Illustrated, October 6, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 148 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5–7—Steve has always been a worrier, but since his brother was born he's become even more anxious. When Steve starts having dreams about otherworldly wasps, he takes comfort in their message that everything will be okay. But the more he learns about their plan to "fix" the baby's congenital condition, the more he's conflicted. The tension and unease grow as Steve begins to wonder if the wasps are real or imagined. The story comes to a climactic end that is cathartic and comforting. Set in a modern-day suburb, this quiet yet emotionally haunting book thoughtfully explores themes of safety, anxiety, and the beauty of the imperfect. Klassen's black-and-white graphite illustrations complement the sensitive and powerful narrative, written in first person from Steve's perspective. The images have a retro, printmaker feel and never reveal the entire picture, leaving much to the imagination—what is hidden in the unknown? Is it something bad or good? How can you know? The characters are believable and strongly developed, especially Steve, who deals with anxiety and possibly obsessive compulsive disorder. Scientific information on the life cycle, anatomy, and behaviors of wasps is woven in a way that furthers the plot. VERDICT This affecting middle grade psychological thriller is recommended as a first purchase for libraries.—Amy Seto Forrester, Denver Public Library

Review

*"With subtle, spine-chilling horror at its heart, this tale of triumph over monsters—both outside and in—is outstanding....Printz-winning, New York Times best-selling Oppel and Caldecott-winning Klassen are a match made in kid-lit heaven. Expect ample buzz."



-- Booklist - Starred Review, July 2015

*"Compelling and accessible." -- Kirkus Reviews - Starred Review, August 2015

* "Oppel uses a dark and disturbing lens to produce an unnerving psychological thriller." -- Publisher's Weekly - Starred Review, July 2015

* "Emotionally haunting...This affecting middle grade psychological thriller is recommended as a first purchase" -- School Library Journal - Starred Review, August 2015

* "a tight and focused story about the dangers of wishing things back to normal at any cost....the emotional resonance is deep, and Steve’s precarious interactions with the honey-voiced queen make one’s skin crawl." -- The Horn Book - Starred Review, September/October 2015

*"Readers are challenged to examine questions about what "normal" is...all in the guise of a fantastical thriller." -- Shelf Awareness - starred review, October 2015

"Striking and scary at once...The Nest leaves a lasting mark on the memory, and by the end, Oppel tenderly champions the world of the broken and anxious, the sick and the flawed. Readers will find much to savor here, both scary and subtle." -- The New York Times Book Review, October 11, 2015

"A sophisticated horror story...frightening and uncanny but also deeply humane in its probing of the way value may be given to, and taken from, imperfect life." -- The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2015

"Effectively taps into primal fears...a vicarious thrill." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November 2015

"A quick read, with the right amount of suspense and mystery. ...Recommended." -- School Library Connection, February 2016

Product details

  • Lexile Measure : 640L
  • Grade Level : 5 - 6
  • Item Weight : 12 ounces
  • Hardcover : 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 148143232X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1481432320
  • Product Dimensions : 5.13 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Reading level : 10 and up
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Illustrated Edition (October 6, 2015)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 148 ratings

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
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Top reviews from other countries

BB85
4.0 out of 5 stars A Nest of considerations here
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 13, 2017
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Nola
1.0 out of 5 stars Weird
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 27, 2020
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Rachel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 2, 2017
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Karen A
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 20, 2017
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Squeak 'n Banana
4.0 out of 5 stars "But 'yes' is a powerful word."
Reviewed in Canada on January 24, 2016
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