Nest by Esther Ehrlich
Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Level: 5 and up
Genre: Growing up/illnesses
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (September 9, 2014)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (thank you!)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
About the Book:
A heartfelt, deeply moving, and unforgettable middle grade debut about an irresistible girl, Chirp, and her family.
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.
Esther Ehrlich’s 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.
About the Author:
Trained as an oral historian, ESTHER EHRLICH worked for six years at the Regional Oral History Office at the University of California, Berkeley before founding Story Lines, which creates written and video life histories for individuals, families, and organizations. She received a writing fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, and her fiction has been published in journals including The Sun.
There is so much to love about this book. Naomi (Chirp) is a quiet, thoughtful girl that likes bird watching and loves her family. She is kind of a loner, and feels pretty awkward around other people most of the time. She makes an unlikely friend in her neighbor, Joey, and that friendship helps her through the hard times that her family faces. He helps her deal with all the mixed emotions she has and also helps her feel connected to someone when the rest of her life falls apart. Their friendship was my favorite part of the book.
I liked Chirp’s strength and the way she tried so hard to keep her family happy even when it seemed impossible. I liked her imagination and her interest in birds. Even though some parts of the book were too slow for me, it was a heartfelt story with a believable and lovable protagonist.
Content: Some talk about sex and a couple mild curse words.
Source: I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.