Kenneth Oppel: The Nest (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015)
This book was given to me as a present – and what a treat it was, indeed (thanks again, Eva)! It is not often that I, as an adult reader, am so enthralled by a children’s book: I simply could not put it down…
Written by Kenneth Oppel and skilfully illustrated by Jon Klassen, The Nest is a multimodal book about a family with a sick baby. There are things going on in their house that cannot be explained logically. They circle around the baby, Theo, and the oldest brother, Steve, from whose perspective the story is told. The mysterious incidents force Steve to face his fears, take on responsibility and, eventually, put his own life in jeopardy to protect his baby brother. In the end, the interplay of the supernatural and the fictional world leaves the reader dazzled.
I highly recommend The Nest to readers of all ages who enjoy a suspense-packed read or appreciate multimodality; and to future English teachers I say: read it, enjoy, and use it in class!
– recommended by Ivo Steininger