Nightingale's Nest

Nightingale's Nest

Book - 2014
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In this twist on "The Nightingale," Little John, despite his own poverty and grief, reaches out to Gayle, an unhappy foster child living next-door. who sings beautifully and hides a great secret.
Publisher: New York, New York : Razorbill, a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781595145468
Branch Call Number: JF
Characteristics: 240 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Nightingales nest


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Oct 09, 2016

This book is written for a 3rd-4th grade reader; however, it unnerved me as an adult reader. The adults in this story were very abusive to their children. I was crept out by Mr. King"s incessant need to be alone with Gayle and to steal her inner beauty. I would not let my granddaughter read the Nightingale's Nest. Perhaps I wanted to protect her from commonly harsh losses. She did read Wish Girl and seemed to like it it.

I really Like this book almost on chapter 4 its kinda romantic so far and sorta a casually poor life but I really like this book im going into grade 5 next year and just starting these longgg chapter books this is my frist 1 and I really am enjoying it I will update this comment once im done the book...Well now im on chapter 11 and so far its really really good

JCLChrisK Sep 23, 2015

This is a hard book that just keeps getting harder.

Not hard to read or understand, but about hard lives . . .

"I ran on, my feet feeling the soreness from my run the day before. My tennis shoes were getting tight again. Was I still growing? I hoped not; shoes were expensive."

. . . and about the hard decisions those lives require, along with the emotional hardship that results.

"She thought I was sick, maybe because of the sunburn. I did feel sick, and my face was hot.

"I was sick, sure. Sick at heart. My stomach felt like I'd eaten bricks, my chest like one had landed on it and was crushing the breath out of me.

"My face burned. I got up to go to the bathroom, and stared at it in the mirror. It looked just like I felt inside. Raw, blistered, red as the devil.

"I wondered: Was it possible to be so ashamed of yourself, your face would stay red for the rest of your life?"

Thankfully, there is just enough magical realism to provide some hope and redemption.

BCD2013 Jun 09, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
In this adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Nightingale", Little John accompanies his father on a routine maintenance job, only to discover a little foster girl with an uncanny ability.
- Betsy Bird


This is a book about terrible decisions made, for the most part, by good people. This can, at times, make the story emotionally hard to follow, but I like to think Ms. Loftin had things well in hand when she came up with her tale. There’s a great comfort in knowing that even when you screw up royally, you can still find forgiveness. If kids take nothing else away from this book, I hope that they understand that much. Smart and beautiful by turns, The Nightingale’s Nest does one thing that few will contest. Once you’ve read it, you’ll have a hard time getting it out of your head.


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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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It doesn’t seem right that a twelve-year-old boy would carry around a guilt as deep and profound as Little John’s. But when you feel personally responsible for the death of your little sister, it’s hard to let go of those feelings. It doesn’t help matters any that John has to spend the summer helping his dad clear brush for the richest man in town, a guy so extravagant, the local residents just call him The Emperor. It’s on one of these jobs that John comes to meet and get to know The Emperor’s next door neighbor, Gayle. About the age of his own sister when she died, Gayle’s a foster kid who prefers sitting in trees in her own self-made nest to any other activity. But as the two become close friends, John notices odd things about the girl. When she sings it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before, and she even appears to possibly have the ability to heal people with her voice. It doesn’t take long before The Emperor becomes aware of the treasure in his midst. He wants Gayle’s one of a kind voice, and he’ll do anything to have it. The question is, what does John think is more important: His family’s livelihood or the full-throated song of one little girl?


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“What was right didn’t have a thing to do with what was.”


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