Book Review: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel


Title: The Nest
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Copy Obtained: Purchased

About the Book From Goodreads

For 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?



One sentence review: What an odd little book!
Best for readers who: Ok with books that don't follow normal rules of storytelling and reality.  
Best Stick-with-You Image: The description of the wasps
Library Thoughts: I have two copies in the library because it's a Maud Hart Lovelace nominee this year.  I know several kids have read it, but it's a harder sell.  


I'm not even sure where to start with this review.  I didn't hate the book - I really didn't.  It was very interesting, and it really kept me enthralled.  But it's definitely not a book for everyone.  It has the qualities of mystical realism.  At points, I wasn't sure what to believe if anything!  And then I questioned why any of the events in the story were happening at all.  I've actually kept thinking about, and I finished the book over a month ago!  I can see that Steve is supposed to learn from the events, and I know he did.  And what he learned has stuck with me - and made me continue to think about it.  But in the same breath, I just keep thinking - "What an odd little book!".  I know this is a really vague review, but so much of it, you just need to experience yourself.  

I did like the characters.  Steve was great. He was the right mix of brave and confused and innocent.  I loved his growth, and that was the best part. 

Over-all it's a book I'll need to hand sell to students I know will "get" it.  

Side-note: If you don't like wasps this could be a tough book for you!  My daughter who is really afraid of them won't even think about reading the book! 

1 comment

  1. This sounds like a really interesting book. I don't like wasps, though, so I will have to think about this one. Thanks for the review.

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