The Nest by Kenneth OppelFor some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp’s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.
All he has to do is say “Yes.” But “yes” is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?
Review - The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel review – tenderly realistic, but very odd indeed
In folklore, the figure of the changeling often involves an enchanted piece of wood placed in a crib by fairies that a parent finds instead of her baby. The wood might become ill and die, or the fairies might skip the wood altogether and leave a fairy-baby instead, carting the little human off for other purposes. What if the parents never, ever know that the new baby slipped into the crib is not their own, but someone else does? It is a predicament Huxley would have appreciated. Steve is an anxious kid. He sleeps with his covers bunched up on his face because he wants to be cocooned, he washes his hands too often and he reads long gratitude lists obsessively every night before sleep.
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Enter The Nest. A congenital condition, unspecified, has left him needing an operation. What matters is that they are made sufficiently gripping and intriguing to grab the reader and demand their understanding. Oppel succeeds in doing just that, which is just as well, since such sequences form a large part of The Nest. For me, this never-quite-knowing is one of its major strengths. There are some other lovely touches in this book. Relationships in the family are genuine, without being either stereotypically strained or sentimental.
Synopsis: From Goodreads Steve just wants to save his baby brother—but what will he lose in the bargain? For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun.
person with a large vocabulary
Illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen. For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back? Celebrated author Kenneth Oppel creates an eerie masterpiece in this compelling story that explores disability and diversity, fears and dreams, and what ultimately makes a family. Includes illustrations from celebrated artist Jon Klassen.