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Month in review

Reviews
Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi
The Dastardly Deed by Holly Grant
Dragon Overnight by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and, Emily Jenkins
Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn
Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks by Victoria J. Coe
The Final Kingdom by Michael Northrop
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
Hamster Princess: Whiskerella by Ursula Vernon
Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
The Maze in the Mind and the World: Labyrinths in Modern Literature by Donald Gutierrez
Miss Pickerell Harvests the Sea by Ellen MacGregor and Dora Pantell
Mr. Pants: It's Go Time! by Scott McCormick
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #1: Twilight Sparkle by Thomas Zahler
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Noragami: Stray God Volume 4 by Adachitoka
The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock
Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla
Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking
Voltron Legendary Defender Volume 2: The Pilgrimage by Tim Hedrick
The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

Miscellaneous
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 05)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 12) It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 19)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 26)
January 2018 Sources
January 2018 Summary

Road Essays
Gender in Ozma of Oz
The Splendid Dystopia in the Marvelous Land of Oz
Unmappable structures: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


The Nest: 02/20/18

The Nestby Kenneth Oppel

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel is an excellent example of middle grade horror. Let me be upfront and warn you: if you have a fear of wasps, don't read this book. Even if you don't — be warned this book might induce nightmares. If, however, you like nightmares, this book is for you.

Set on Salt Spring Island, and possibly Vancouver (for the book's mention of a university), it's the story of a family welcoming home a baby boy with congenital defects and "angels" who promise Steve (the middle grade aged narrator) to fix his brother. Except — they're not angels, they're wasps — like X-Files or Nightvale or Supernatural type wasps.

Imagine if you will a faerie changeling story except that instead of a human baby being exchanged for a sickly, petulant faerie baby, a sickly human baby is exchanged for a healthy changeling baby who happens to be grown in a nest from a mixture of human DNA and the wood from the house where he will reside.

This is the point (and it comes pretty early in the book) where you either decide to say yes, as Steve does, or close the book and mentally burn down the hive with a flame thrower.

If you say yes (and I hope you do) you'll treated to a fascinating discussion of what it means to be normal and what it means to love a child with congenital defects. What it means to love a child who might not survive infancy. What it means to have frequent trips to the doctor or to the hospital. What it means to love someone who may never meet milestones.

And then once Steve realizes that yes, his baby brother (who up until now he doesn't call by name), Theodore, is worth loving and worth saving, the horror aspect of the book lets out all the stops.

Five stars

Comments (2)


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Comment #1: Monday, February 26, 2018 at 22:15:28

Laura @ Library of Clean Reads

Okay, so not sure about this one. I don't enjoy horror but I'm curious about the underlying message of acceptance.



Comment #2: Monday, March 05, 2018 at 23:10:00

Pussreboots

I hope you give it a try since you otherwise like the author and the message. If it turns out to not be your kind of book, you can always stop.