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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  3,466 ratings  ·  746 reviews
For fans of Jennifer Holm, a heartfelt and unforgettable middle-grade novel about an irresistible girl and her family, tragic change, and the healing power of love and friendship. In 1972 home is a cozy nest on Cape Cod for eleven-year-old Naomi "Chirp" Orenstein, her older sister, Rachel; her psychiatrist father; and her dancer mother. But then Chirp's mom develops sympto ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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Gabby 2.0 The settings from this book is around some woods(Cape Cod) but I would have to look at the book again to see where Chirp is living. The Main event is …moreThe settings from this book is around some woods(Cape Cod) but I would have to look at the book again to see where Chirp is living. The Main event is that her mom gets really sick and just how the family goes through the very difficult trial of sickness.(less)

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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,466 ratings  ·  746 reviews

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Wendy Darling
As much as I enjoy fantasy and adventure, I love everyday stories about childhood. This ended up being much more serious and moving than I expected, however.

I listened to much of this audiobook as I was huddled under the covers in the dark in my own nest, much like the ones Chirp finds comfort in when she feels alone. Jenna Lamia does a beautifully subtle reading (at one point I skipped back so I could listen to hear her charming rendition of a horned owl again), though she also made me tear up
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
One thing about this book. This author can write. For a first book this one was absolutely amazing. She brings the voice of Naomi aka Chirp to life.

Chirp's voice reminded me of Ramona in the Beverly Cleary books because she just seemed so real. I can actually picture the girl in my head.
Full of spunk and sass.
The book is on the dark side though. You have Joey the boy next door that you just know bad things are happening to but they never get explained. Then Chirp's mom is sick. Handled wel
Elyse  Walters
UPDATE: NEW REVIEW: I read this book for the 2nd time.
[2015 Thanksgiving week-end] ......couple years later than the first read.
HERE is my Updated NEW review: [spoilers included]

In the story, "Nest", by Esther Ehrlich, its almost Thanksgiving.
The Orenstein Family -living in the Cape -usually enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at their house.
Naomi, (Chirp), 11 years old, (narrator), is remembering last years Thanksgiving:
Her mother would always brown the onions, and mash their potatoes in 'schmaltz'
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
NEST is a great joy to read, and wondrous in its way of bringing us into the character of Chirp, an 11 year old girl on Cape Cod whose mother (a dancer) has M.S. The voice of Chirp is so engaging and honest, and her relationships with her friend Joey and her family are so real, the pacing of the story so graceful and well-done, that the book pulls you along, in beautiful surges, and you feel sad to let this world go at the end. Ehrlich has done a magnificent job of addressing serious issues with ...more
A Storied Soul
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a review.
This review was originally published on my blog: The Literarium

Eleven-year-old Naomi "Chirp" Orenstein lives with her family in Cape Cod during the 1970s. Chirp's mother develops symptoms of a severe illness that forces her to cease being a dancer. To cope with this family tragedy, Chirp finds comfort in bird watching and her new friend Joey. Together through their new-found friendship, Chir
Diane S ☔
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it
It has been a while since I have picked up and read a book targeted for the middle schooler. Loved this family, all their flaws, their love, questions. The MS angle was the attraction for me and I felt the author did a wonderful job making this a story that this age group could identify with. School, friends, peer pressure, identity and loVe and family. Well written and well done.

Arc from Net Galley.
Esther Ehrlich has written one of the best books of the season. Nest is listed as a middle grade book but it has a lot to teach all of us. The language is rich and powerful. The story line is deceptively simple.

Chirp is the main character. She is entranced with birds and dancing. She lives on Cape Cod with her family in a seemingly quite idyllic life. But as we know seemingly can change abruptly – and it does. With her mother’s diagnosis of MS, the story becomes more complex and Chirp’s world c
Debby Vandersande
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book kept me awake two nights in a row. On the second night, I was up crying. So, I looked pretty awful in the morning, but the story was worth the rough morning. I loved every minute of this book!

I usually hate comparing one book to others, but sometimes you just feel it. So, Nest feels like Bridge to Terabithia meets Are You There, God? It's me, Margaret. But, it also reminded me of Then and Now, the movie from my tween days. The 1972 setting is filled with music from earlier decades that
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
Read almost like a children’s book at times, but a great gateway to introduce chronic illness other than cancer to children. And I adore Joey so much!

rating: ★★½
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Naomi Orenstein is nicknamed “Chirp” because of her love of birds and bird-watching. Her sister Rachel and her father are close, and Chirp enjoys a special bond with her mother, a former dancer.

Chirp’s home life is turned upside down when her mother succumbs to depression after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. No one acts the same anymore—not her mother, not her father, and not her older sister. It’s up to Chirp to make sense of this new wo
Carol Kean
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This coming of age story is smoothly written and authentic, filled with nostalgia for those of us who grew up in the 1970s and remember The Brady Bunch and the novelty of Pop Tarts. It packs a powerful punch, too, unlike so many YA and children's books that center around a fairly innocuous premise, like getting past being a new kid. This story deals with a difficult subject, a parent who becomes clinically depressed and suicidal.

Also, the heroine is a bird watcher, wise for her years, thoughtfu
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Whew. That was a journey.

You know how certain books make an incredible impact on your life because of what you're experiencing when you read them? Yeah, that's what happened here. I was intrigued from the time I saw this book's page on Netgalley. Serious middle-grade fiction set in 1972? Yes, please. Despite this, I pretty much forgot about the book until yesterday, when I received an e-mail from one of the book'
Courtney Whisenant
I received a free copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In my experience, children and middle grade books tend to leave readers with unrealistic expectations of happily ever after. This book, however, painted a realistic, deeply emotional picture of just how painful and difficult life can be. I really connected with the characters--especially Chirp--and empathized as she walked through her own personal darkness. In addition, each character was well developed and even the minor cha
I shelved this book as historical fiction because it takes place in 1973, but it's really a timeless book. Chirp and Joey are memorable characters and the story is beautiful. This is the perfect book for my 6th grade girls who are confident readers, but not interested in edgier YA fare, yet. ...more
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written and captured my heart - also crumpled it just a bit.
Jane Brewer
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a story about loss and a child's method for trying to cope with the news that her mom has multiple sclerosis, lives through mom's time in a mental health facility, then learns of the death of her mother by suicide. Her father and sister are unable to help her regain her equilibrium following these traumatic happenings. Her young misfit next door neighbor who is abused at home joins up with "Chirpie" as this young girl was called by her mother. Together they find "nests" for the two of th ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-novels
This is the tragic story of Chirp a young girl whose dancer mother gets multiple sclerosis (MS). I don't want to spoil it, but Ehrlich doesn't hold back when it comes to writing a tragedy for young readers. She trusts that kids can handle the absolute worst case scenario. Yet as sad as it is, Ehrlich expertly weaves in dancing, innocence and hope in a way that makes this book...dare I say it...enjoyable. It's heavy, heavy stuff, folks, but Chirp is a character you can't help loving to hang out w ...more
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Nest is a moving, honest, and captivating book that, although published as a middle grade book, is also a great read for adults. The author captures the voices of all her characters, and this is one of the book’s great strengths. Chirp resonates as a 6th grade girl who, while upbeat, is nonetheless forced to confront some tough family issues. Joey is a delight and complex. The other members of Chirp’s family are likewise nuanced and real. This beautifully written book will move whoever reads it. ...more
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book so much. It is truly an honest, authentic representation of childhood, even as Chirp deals with incredibly difficult circumstances that force her into early maturity. The characters were believable and lovable, and Ehrlich made me wish I had a friend like Joey. I will recommend this book to all the kids I know, as well as many of the adults. It is a stunning debut n
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Title - Nest

Author - Esther Ehrlich

Source - Net Galley ( I received an ARC via Kindle for a honest review)

Summary -

Naomi Chirp Orenstein, her sister Rachel and her parents lived a somewhat charmed and sheltered life in Cape Cod during the turbulent Nixon years. The political upheaval and war that is inflaming the majority of the country are nothing but dinner table discussions. What is the next school dance or play and what to plant in the garden this season seem to be of more importance in the
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing

One of the many challenges for upper elementary and middle school Language Arts teachers is finding timely books with age appropriate characters and thought provoking themes, yet won’t spur parents to demand the principal to pull it off the shelf because of graphic violence, profanity or sex. Nest, by Esther Ehrlich, is a book that adults will approve of and young readers will love.

Set in 1972, the story centers on Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein. She and her father, mother and sister Rachel are year-ro
Katherine Kirkpatrick
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Esther Ehrlich’s powerful and elegant debut novel, Nest, is a story of loss and renewal set near a salt marsh in Cape Cod in 1972. As the story begins, eleven-year-old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein takes a shortcut home from her favorite bird-watching spot and meets up with her spunky neighbor Joey Morrell, who is throwing rocks at a telephone pole. Within their conversation, Joey happens to ask, “Is your mom’s leg okay?” Chirp answers, “Not really.” In this moment of foreboding we learn that somethin ...more
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in the mindset that I'd think about my students, and which grade level the book would be appropriate for. While I think I accomplished that task, I couldn't help but bring some of my own life experiences to the table while reading.

Told from the perspective of sixth grade Chirp, this book is heavy, honest, and has a lot going on. Chirp, and her sister have to come to terms with the MS diagnosis their mom receives. Their dad, a "head shrinker", does the best he can to help them co
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, children
The story of Naomi and her family on Cape Cod is remarkably written. She and her older teenage sister are believable as they face their beautiful mother's illness and their psychiatrist father's attempt to cope. Although suggested for ages 8 to 12, I think younger teens and most adults will appreciate the novel. ...more
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic first book! I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the details the author put in about Cape Cod, Boston, and birds. The characters drew you in from the very beginning. I'm glad I was chosen to receive a copy from Net Galley. ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
This book, and this author, did a lot of things well. It's a sad book -- we learn at the very beginning, if we have somehow missed the jacket copy, that protagonist Chirp's mother has just had a bad diagnosis -- but for the most part it's never maudlin. There is also a lot of hope, not least because Chirp herself is so thoroughly developed. Her relationship with Joey from across the road, and her ruminations on being a year-rounder on the Cape, not to mention a Jew on the Cape in that era, are i ...more
La La
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
I am rating this as the Middle Grade it is classified as... although the writing is solid, very little in this story is anything that would hold a 7-11 year old's attention, and the happenings in the back-half of the book are too mature in nature for a MG age reader to properly grasp. I know most Middle Grade age readers are worriers, especially about the safety of family, and I think the storyline would add to that anxiety. I would not have wanted my son to read this at MG readership age. Plus, ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Beautifully written, heartfelt and emotional. Ehrlich has wonderfully captured the voice of a young girl going through family turmoil and tragedy. (My one complaint might be that the main character, Chirp, comes off a little younger than she's billed - 4th grade, maybe, rather than 6th.) The secondary characters are vivid and well-rounded, particularly her sister Rachel, who is struggling with being a teenager on top of the painful events at home; her father, a man who clearly adores h
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-books
Beautifully written, this is the story of Naomi, known as Chirp, her family, and her life on Cape Cod. When the book opens, Chirp is enjoying the last bit of summer before starting sixth grade. She spends her days roaming the marshes watching her beloved birds, swimming and dancing with her mom and sister, and enjoying family evenings. As the year unfolds, Chirp experiences big changes when her family experiences a health crisis. The characters are well developed and their voices ring true. This ...more
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
Thank you NetGalley for awarding me this book to read.

I was not expecting this book to make me cry - it did.

Chirp - the girl who loves birds so much, is going through daily life - watching birds, a new teacher, irritating neighbor boys, riding the bus to school, and dancing. She loves dancing for her mother - a dancer herself.

This was going to be a fluff book between books - it was not.

A must share book for children learning to cope with loss of a parent.

A must for children of abuse - Joey (the
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Esther Ehrlich's debut novel, Nest, is forthcoming from Wendy Lamb Books/Random House in September 2014. Ehrlich was born and raised in Boston, graduated from Vassar College, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. ...more

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