The Nest is a modest novel at 244 pages, but those pages pack quite a punch. Steven is a child riddled with anxiety. For those who have experienced anxiety as a child, Oppel's representation is incredible. The fear, doubt, stress, and nightmares are poignant and unsettlingly familiar. Don't hesitate to give this to mature children struggling with their own anxieties or to parents and caregivers trying to better understand the plights of their children. When we're young it's hard to know what is real and what isn't - something Oppel has masterfully rendered here - and how to process the complexities of anxiety, sickness, and family strife. A beautiful and compelling novel.
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