The Nest

The NestBy Kenneth Oppel

Steve is a boy with deep anxiety, obsessive tendencies and nightmares.  His very caring parents have tried to help him cope.  But when they arrive home with Steve’s new baby brother, Theo, their attention becomes focused on the baby.  Theo has many medical problems and may not survive.   

In the face of this new family reality, Steve begins to delve into a fantasy world that sustains him… at first.  He dreams of an angel, who promises that she can heal Theo and make everything better.  The angel soon reveals herself as a wasp with a hive of helpers, much like the large wasp nest on the side of Steve’s house.  

Now the story becomes more sinister and the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred.  The wasp has convinced Steve that she can help Theo, but only if Steve will help her.  After he agrees, he discovers the wasp’s real plan.  Can he stand up to this creature and do the right thing?

The Nest asks readers to consider the idea of human perfection.  Is it achievable?  Is it desirable?  Or can we be lovable and “good enough” just the way we are?

The book can be quite frightening at times and is not for every child.  Those who enjoy some suspense will be pleasantly surprised.