The Nest

The Nest

by Kenneth Oppel
illustrated by Jon Klassen
Harper Collins Canada Ltd., 2015
ISBN 9781443438629 (hc),
ISBN 10: 1443438626 (sc)
$18.33 (hc) / $12.99 (sc), 256 pp, ages 10+

If you like books that leave you thinking about what you would do, you should check out The Nest. The main character, Steve, just wants to have a normal summer but instead ends up worrying about his new, sick, baby brother, Theo. After being stung by a wasp, Steve learns he is allergic to them and needs to try and avoid these stinging creatures. This is difficult when the wasps may be the answer to saving Theo. One night, Steve is visited by wasps in a dream and everything in his world changes. The wasps tell Steve they can help him and his family by replacing Theo with a new and healthy baby. The wasps are willing to build a new baby in their nest and exchange it with Theo. To be able to do this, the wasps need Steve’s help. Steve has a very difficult decision to make—will he help the wasps to create a new baby or keep Theo the way he is? Will a new baby make the family’s life easier, can he stop the wasps before it is too late? My favourite character in the story is Steve because he is faced with a moral dilemma and bravely decides to do the right thing although he has to suffer the consequences. One of my favourite parts of The Nest is when Steve is sitting outside with his family and his sister is playing with her toys. She receives a phone call on her toy phone that she says is for Steve. I found this to be funny in an otherwise dark story. If you like stories with adventure, mystery, suspense, and twists, The Nest would be a good book choice for you.

Review by Connor, age 14, grade 10.

This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Sept/Oct 2017 issue.

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