Our tweens-teens’ book selection for May is Nest by Esther Ehrlich. I must say, this was one of the toughest book club decisions thus far, and I’ll explain why in a minute.
When I started our tweens-teens’ book club, our approach to selecting books was simple ― we read it, we like it, we share it. That seemed simple enough … until we actually started diving deeper and deeper into the books. Now, we read it, we like it, we then wonder whether to share it. Liking a book is one thing, recommending it is another.
While we love to recommend every book we read and like, we sometimes wrestle with whether the theme is too dark or heavy for teens, let alone tweens. Nest is one of those books we wrestled with. The book tackles many deep and dark topics such as terminal illness, depression, and ultimately death. While trying not give too much away, I feeI the need to give parents the heads up.
Ultimately, our decision was influenced by the fact that the book raises awareness of these issues, real life situations. Life doesn’t always have fairytale beginnings, middles, or endings. In fact, life rarely does, and children ought to be aware of that. This reminds me of a quote I came across recently: “One thing we shouldn’t do is shield kids from everyday frustrations. They need to experience everyday failures and challenges. It’s the kids who never feel frustrated who are vulnerable later.” And I feel this book coveys this message quite well.
Having said all this, I should mention that this is a book we read, we liked, and we shared. Nonetheless, parental guidance and discretion are advised. I think it’s a great book. I will, however, suggest parents read it either before or with your tweens or teens, as it will open doors to a whole lot of challenging questions and interesting discussions. After all, isn’t that what we want anyway? Thoughts?
By: Dawn Hoff, Book Kids
Book Synopsis: 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.