51mjOP3hISL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_#FridayFavorite: In which I celebrate one of my favorite books on a Friday.

I’ve written about Nest before, but it’s worth mentioning again and again. Nest is one of my favorite middle-grade books, period. Some reviewers have lamented that it’s much too sad for MG readers, but one of the things I love most about Nest is that it assumes MG readers can understand, absorb, and empathize with complex story lines involving their parents, siblings, friends, and the world around them. Nothing is sugarcoated here, nor should it be. And why shield young readers from sad books, anyway? This is a time when they’re feeling angst. Many of them are sad and don’t know why. Many of them are sad and do know why. Books like these tell young readers they are not alone, the world isn’t perfect, and sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want them to. Most importantly, however, it tells them that life goes on. What better lesson exists than that?

1-sentence roundup: Chirp, a young girl in 1970s Cape Cod, struggles to cope with a gravely ill mother, an overwhelmed father, and a neighbor who is suffering abuse. 

Related: In Defense of the Sad Book, by Jenn Bishop

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