Tuesday, April 1, 2014

tara recommends Nightingale's Nest by Nikki Loftin

Can a book be both heavy and lift you up?  Is it possible to deal with very hard, serious issues, yet be lyrical and beautiful?  Nightingale's Nest by Nikki Loftin does just that.

Twelve-year-old Little John has some real problems, including dealing with the death of his sister, working alongside an alcoholic father, and trying to negotiate a mentally unstable mother.  To top it off, he also befriends and tries to protect an abused foster child, Gayle, who lives across the street from his father's employer, Mr. King.

Gayle is an unusual child who likes to sing while perched in a self-made nest, high in a sycamore tree.  She is delicate and alone, but when Little John finds her, she lets her guard down and brings him into her world.  When her birdsong voice attracts the attention of creepy Mr. King, the richest man in town, Little John is forced to make some difficult choices.

This strangely beautiful and heartfelt story has some unanswered questions that will leave readers wondering, and there are elements that force you to suspend reality to fully appreciate the journey.  However, responsibility, trust and ultimately forgiveness are expertly woven through a unique narrative that will stay with you and pull at your heart.

Nightingale's Nest
by Nikki Loftin
published by Razorbill
February 2014
recommended for ages 10 and up

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