Best described as "creepy", Oppel's new novel reads like a fever dream (for kids). In The Nest, a young boy strikes a bargain with a swarm of wasps who promise to make the health problems of his baby brother go away. Yet what seems to be a good idea at first turns out to be quite the opposite. Eerie appearances by a "working" toy telephone, a bizarre neighborhood knife salesman, and many dream-dialogues with a queen bee anchor this very gripping novel. Ideal for kids (8-13) looking for a thriller! — Aubrey Restifo
If Neil Gaiman's Coraline and David Almond's Skellig had a baby, it would be in this nest. This is possibly the most frightening gothic tale I've read in many a year - a creeptastic modern twist on the classic fairy-changeling legend. Steven's baby brother was born with multiple medical problems, an ongoing crisis which has their parents frantic and distracted. Their distraction leaves Steven emotionally abandoned, and he must struggle alone to suppress his mounting anxiety with breathing techniques, compulsive rituals, and wishful thinking. When offered a chance to "fix" the baby, Steven agrees, only to learn that the bargain he has made comes at a terrible price. For upper elementary readers who like a good pulse-pounding scare. — Jennifer Armstrong
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