Nightingale's Nest eBook ↠ Kindle Edition


    Nightingale's Nest eBook ↠ Kindle Edition friendship with Gayle quickly becomes the one bright spot in his life, for his home is dominated by sorrow over his sister s death and his parents ever tightening financial difficulties But then Mr King draws Little John into an impossible choice forced to choose between his family s survival and a betrayal of Gayle that puts her future in jeopardy Inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen story, Nightingale s Nest is an unforgettable novel about a boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders and a girl with the gift of healing in her voice."/>
  • Kindle Edition
  • 256 pages
  • Nightingale's Nest
  • Nikki Loftin
  • 06 October 2018

10 thoughts on “Nightingale's Nest

  1. Betsy Betsy says:

    Magical realism in children s novels is a rarity It s not unheard of, but when children s authors want fantasy, they write fantasy When they want reality, they write reality A potentially uncomfortable mix of the two is harder to pull off Ambiguity is not unheard of in books for youth, but it s darned hard to write Why go through all that trouble For that reason alone we don t tend to see it in children s books Kids like concrete concepts Good guys vs bad guys This is real vs this is Magical realism in children s novels is a rarity It s not unheard of, but when children s authors want fantasy, they write fantasy When they want reality, they write reality A potentially uncomfortable mix of the two is harder to pull off Ambiguity is not unheard of in books for youth, but it s darned hard to write Why go through all that trouble For that reason alone we don t tend to see it in children s books Kids like concrete concepts Good guys vs bad guys This is real vs this is a dream But a clever author, one who respects the intelligence of their young audience, can upset expectations without sacrificing their story When author Nikki Loftin decided to adapt Hans Christian Andersen s tale The Nightingale into a middle grade contemporary novel, she made a conscious decision to make the book a work of magical realism A calculated risk, Loftin s gambit pays off Nightingale s Nest is a painful but ultimately emotionally resonant tale of sacrifice and song A remarkably competent book, stronger for its one of a kind choices 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 isimportant His family s livelihood or a the full throated song of one little girl How long did it take me to realize I was reading a middle grade adaptation of a Hans Christian Andersen short story Let me first tell you that when I read a book I try not to read even so much as a plot description beforehand so that the novel will stay fresh and clear in my mind With that understanding, it s probably not the worst thing in the world that it took a 35 year old woman thirty nine pages before she caught on to what she was reading Still, I have the nasty suspicion that many a savvy kid would have picked up on the theme before I did As it stands, we ve seen Andersen adapted into middle grade novels for kids before Breadcrumbs, for example, is a take on his story The Snow Queen as well as some of his other, stranger tales They say that he wrote The Nightingale for the singer Jenny Lind, with whom he was in love All I know is that in the original tale the story concentrates on the wonders of the natural world vs the mechanical one In this book, Loftin goes in a slightly different direction It isn t an over reliance on technology that s the problem here It s an inability to view our fellow human beings as just that Human beings Come to think of it, maybe that s what Andersen was going for in the first place It was the writing, of course, that struck my attention first Loftin gives the book beautiful sequences filled with equally beautiful sentences There s a section near the end that tells a tale of a tree that fails to keep hold of a downy chick, but is redeemed by saving another bird in a storm This section says succinctly everything you need to know about this book I can already see the children s book and discussion groups around the country that will get a kick out of picking apart this parable It s not a hard one to interpret, but you wouldn t want it to be.As for the characters, there wasn t a person here that I couldn t recognize as real I was quite taken with the fact that Loftin continually sidesteps a lot of the usual middle grade tropes Gayle s nasty foster brother Jeb, for example, could easily have been labeled the typical bully type character for this book Bullies in children s books, after all, have a tendency to be one note characters Jeb, in contrast, is capable of talking like a normal human being from time to time He s a horrible human being at other times, but at least you get the sense that he s not just a walking two dimensional caricature It makes a difference The ending is going to be problematic for some folks It is not, I should say, unsatisfying I think even people who don t have a problem with what it says will only have a problem with HOW it goes about saying it But the end of the book goes so far as to make it clear that this story really doesn t take place in the real world in which we live The characters face real world problems, but that doesn t preclude the presence of something magical There arethings in heaven and earth, Horatioand all that jazz For some readers, this may feel like a kind of betrayal As if the author didn t have the guts to stay in the real world from start to finish, but instead had to rely on something otherworldly for her climax I don t see it that way Loftin s choices seem very deliberate here, from page one onward Just because something is magical, that doesn t mean you can t interpret the book in other ways Don t like the supernatural element at the end Then why are you assuming it s real After all, we re getting this whole story through Little John s perspective Who s to say he s the world s most reliable narrator Just because a book is written for children, that doesn t mean you have to take it at face value In any case, I don t believe the magic detracts in the least from what Loftin is saying here about the banality of poverty This isn t a book that romanticizes what it s like to be poor It s just Little John s everyday existence, to a certain extent And with the introduction of The Emperor, readers get to see firsthand how money, or the lack thereof, has a lot to do with self worth and what you have to do with your pride and sense of self worth when you re indebted to another person Little John witnesses firsthand his own father s humiliation at the hands of the Emperor, and then finds himself in possession in a sense of something The Emperor wants But rather than give him power, this just focuses the rich man s attention on the boy, making him easy prey Better that you never have something the wealthy think that they need And as Little John says at one point, What was right didn t have a thing to do with what was Reading the book, I found it enormously painful But I at least had the wherewithal to realize that it was uniquely painful to me as a mother Any parent reading this is going to instantly fret and worry and think about Gayle s position in her foster home But for kids reading this book they re going to identify with Little John and Gayle as children, not as parents 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 For ages 10 and up


  2. Syndi Syndi says:

    this is a beautiful story about friendship and redemption little john tries to make it right by gayle and his family it is also a story about religion and God i do enjoy this book but not floor by it.


  3. Jessica Jessica says:

    Ashamed, truly, that I am just now reading this Nikki gave me this book when we first met, several years ago at conference in Texas She is a delightful person and I m pleased to say that we ve become friends I think that was partially why I didn t read the book, though What if that nice funny woman I met wrote a bad book Also, in my defense, right after I got it we began to remodel our basement so that I could have an office, and this and many other books that would end up on my built in bo Ashamed, truly, that I am just now reading this Nikki gave me this book when we first met, several years ago at conference in Texas She is a delightful person and I m pleased to say that we ve become friends I think that was partially why I didn t read the book, though What if that nice funny woman I met wrote a bad book Also, in my defense, right after I got it we began to remodel our basement so that I could have an office, and this and many other books that would end up on my built in bookshelves went into boxes for a while But suddenly the other day I saw it and went, Good heavens, I really must read it And oh, glory, I m so glad I did What a gorgeous book So beautifully and simply written, so heartfelt and wonderful I smiled, I was tense, and I cried over the ending This holds up both as a modern retelling of The Nightingale, and holds its own as an excellent middle grade story about grief and forgiveness


  4. Shanshad Whelan Shanshad Whelan says:

    Review first posted on Views from the Tesseract I first heard about this book, I couldn t wait to read it A middle grade fantasy with gorgeous cover art and a story that references Hans Christian Andersen s The Nightingale That s a surefire way to pique my interest Sometimes this backfires on me and my high hopes just don t live up to the actual text But after reading this, I m happy to report it exceeded expectations.Twelve year old Little Joh Review first posted on Views from the Tesseract I first heard about this book, I couldn t wait to read it A middle grade fantasy with gorgeous cover art and a story that references Hans Christian Andersen s The Nightingale That s a surefire way to pique my interest Sometimes this backfires on me and my high hopes just don t live up to the actual text But after reading this, I m happy to report it exceeded expectations.Twelve year old Little John is spending his summer in Texas working for his father clearing brush and trees from Mr King s property While he s working, he hears someone singing and he s astonished to find the sweet voice to a little girl hiding out in a tree Young Gayle is something rare in Little John s life, a bit of happiness in a life that has become shadowed by regret and loss This half wild girl sees Little John as her protector, someone she s willing to trust and share her secrets with Secrets like the magic of her healing song But Little John s family is struggling to survive, and when Mr King makes Little John an offer, he ll have to choose between helping his family, and betraying his new friend This is a story of growing up and the weight of responsibility A story of beauty and the price of betrayal A story of magic and hope.If you re not familiar with Hans Christian Andersen s fairy tale The Nightingale , you might want to look it up prior to reading this story but it s not strictly necessary Nikki Loftin uses the fairy tale imagery and elements, evoking echoes of the tale, but composes a contemporary story all her own As you might already guess from the summary and the fact that it draws on Andersen, this isn t an easy story to read When the story opens, Little John and his family are already suffering from deep pain and loss Little John is lost, separated from the boyhood he had, but nowhere near becoming a man When magic comes into his life it comes in the form of a waif of a girl who can sing with astonishing beauty and is in need of a friend and protector It s a hard story to readyou can see the betrayals on the horizon, and the bitter choices that Little John will make But it is also a beautiful story tinged with redemption and hope for a better day.Thoughtful tween readers who enjoy a powerful story with a bittersweet ending will want to pick this one up It s a rare and beautiful treasure, lightly brushed with magic.kay nielsen_hans christian andersen_the nightingale_medNote An advanced reader copy was provided by the publisher


  5. Tessyohnka Tessyohnka says:

    This book just did not appeal to me Little John s life is so painful, his father is such a hideous character, his mother is absent, there is horrible fear of what Mr King did with Gayle other than record her voice, the foster family is wretched none of this is mitigated by Gayle s magical flight at the story s conclusion.


  6. Destinee Sutton Destinee Sutton says:

    This is going to be one of those times when I read a book that everyone else seems to love and I just don t get it Riddled with sadness and ambiguity, I didn t truly enjoy the story at all The closest I could come to liking this book was appreciating that author Nikki Loftin created something unusual and touching There s a lot of good stuff here, but it didn t come together in a meaningful way for this reader The writing was only so so and the symbolism heavy handed Still, here we go Little This is going to be one of those times when I read a book that everyone else seems to love and I just don t get it Riddled with sadness and ambiguity, I didn t truly enjoy the story at all The closest I could come to liking this book was appreciating that author Nikki Loftin created something unusual and touching There s a lot of good stuff here, but it didn t come together in a meaningful way for this reader The writing was only so so and the symbolism heavy handed Still, here we go Little John is a boy in a lamentable situation His little sister recently died in a tragic accident He s estranged from his best friend because he s too proud to admit that his family is nearing poverty and falling apart Little John s teachers make him feel stupid, his mother makes him feel invisible, and his father treats him like a hired hand Enter a mysterious new girl who s taken in as a foster child by the awful Cutlin family in the same small town where Little John lives She calls herself Gayle, though the Cutlins insist her name is Suzie She reminds Little John of his sister because she s small and feisty, but her most marked characteristic is her beyond beautiful singing voice and belief in her own magical abilities Little John and Gayle become friends He tries to protect her and at the same time can t resist extorting her for money that his family desperately needs The villain here is Mr King, the richest man in town Known by town folk as The Emperor, Mr King is obsessed with recording Gayle s voice to add to his collection His villainous qualities are ambiguous, though Gayle fears him and is traumatized by his presence, but why We don t exactly know She says he s like a crow Little John has a built in reason to loathe King his father is employed by Mr King and resents him for being haughty and rich The plot is driven by something you know is going to happen, even though it seems so unlikely Gayle makes Little John promise to protect her tree and her nest because she believes her parents will use these as beacons to find her but it s somehow inevitable that Little John will break his promise It also seemed inevitable to me that Little John would redeem himself Just a few other details to mention 1 Little John lives five miles from Mr King and the Cutlins In the heat of summer, he runs those five miles ten round trip so many times At first, it s portrayed as a difficult journey for Little John, but then it becomes something he just does without comment I thought this was convenient for the plot and not very believable 2 It also bothered me that Raelynn s death was set up as a something the family still needed to deal with, but in the end they went around the issue instead of through it 3 I m not a fan of stories that end with poor people conveniently coming into a lot of money and voila Everything s better Also view spoiler it would ve madesense for Mr King to leave all his money to Gayle instead of Little John It s like Gayle was a just a tool that Little John controlled I would ve liked to understand the relationship between Gayle and Mr King better hide spoiler 4 This story bears only a slight resemblance to Hans Christian Andersen s The Nightingale I wouldn t call it a re telling or say it was based on it I believe the book jacket says inspired by and that s fair I encourage you to go read The Nightingale online It s short and tells a very different kind of story one about valuing an imitation above the real deal Also, in Andersen s story the main relationship is between the nightingale and the Emperor


  7. Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) says:

    Within a few pages of this book, I could feel the emotion of the story There are some books that you just know will touch you and will make you feel Loftin s Nightingale s Nest is certainly one of them The writing in this book is spectacular and demands to be read not only silently but aloud to a whole group This is a book that I found myself thinking about reading it to a class and discussing it with them I do not feel this way about all books Additionally there is a timeless quality to t Within a few pages of this book, I could feel the emotion of the story There are some books that you just know will touch you and will make you feel Loftin s Nightingale s Nest is certainly one of them The writing in this book is spectacular and demands to be read not only silently but aloud to a whole group This is a book that I found myself thinking about reading it to a class and discussing it with them I do not feel this way about all books Additionally there is a timeless quality to this story Though there are some things that hint at a present day world, much of the story could pass for any time There is a classic feel to the story.Little John and his grieving family The Emperor or Mr King and his greed Gayle and her song The Cutlins Gayle s foster family Ernest and his sister, Isabelle Such great characters and everyone plays a role in this story My favorite lines You can t.really fix all the hurt things in the world That s not your job, Gayle She sighed, that broken sound again I know it s notBut I heard Gayle s voice as I left, five words that stayed with me the rest of that week It s not your job either Hurt, loss, forgiveness, healing, and all the decisions and consequences that build on one another Just powerful


  8. Sacramento Public Library Sacramento Public Library says:

    A unique example of magical realism for middle grades that manages to ground itself in authentic emotions and the too rarely seen reality of poverty Little John is an entirely sympathetic, conflicted character, forced to make tough decisions and worrying too much about grown up problems While the adults in his life seem to fail him, they all have hidden complexity and even the Emperor vaccilates between appearing evil and pitiable And Gale steers away from being too angelic, full of all the p A unique example of magical realism for middle grades that manages to ground itself in authentic emotions and the too rarely seen reality of poverty Little John is an entirely sympathetic, conflicted character, forced to make tough decisions and worrying too much about grown up problems While the adults in his life seem to fail him, they all have hidden complexity and even the Emperor vaccilates between appearing evil and pitiable And Gale steers away from being too angelic, full of all the pouts and personality of a real young child The blend of magic and reality is well balanced, and this reader had no trouble believing in the few magical elements I found the rather tidy ending to be in keeping with the fairy tale sensibility This is a world that needs a bit of magic While the story overall centers on financial struggles, the lingering effects of tragedy and loss, and the sometimes harsh reality of life even for children, Little John and Gale s connection, the still strong strands of old friendships, the concern and assistance that comes from neighbors, and the magic of Gale s escape keep the story ultimately hopeful and uplifting Original and thought provoking Chelsea


  9. Barb Middleton Barb Middleton says:

    This book was beautiful and disturbing The first time Little John hears Gayle singing he describes, The notes were high and liquid, a honey soft river of sound that seeped right through me I stopped when I heard the first notes and just stood there, dropping cedar cuttings at my feet The song sailed over the fence, like it was meant for me alone Little John is helping his dad with his business by cutting and removing Pecan trees at a rich man s house dubbed, The Emperor, when Little John This book was beautiful and disturbing The first time Little John hears Gayle singing he describes, The notes were high and liquid, a honey soft river of sound that seeped right through me I stopped when I heard the first notes and just stood there, dropping cedar cuttings at my feet The song sailed over the fence, like it was meant for me alone Little John is helping his dad with his business by cutting and removing Pecan trees at a rich man s house dubbed, The Emperor, when Little John hears Gayle singing next door She s the same age as his younger sister who just died in an accident Gayle is a foster kid that is abused by her foster brother, Jeb Cutlin, and his mom, Mrs Verlie Cutlin Gayle hides in a nest that she built in a tree and sings to keep from despairing She believes her parents can only find her in the nest Little John and the Cutlin s live in poverty and life is difficult at home for Little John His mom cannot accept her daughter s death and is not functioning on all cylinders His dad drinks away his pain until he is in a stupor When Little John makes a series of devastating mistakes he must decide between betraying his friendship with Gayle or saving his family from losing their home spoilers shucks, I can t seem to write a review without spoilers I don t read any reviews or the blurb before reading a book I don t want to be prejudiced in any way I loved the magical realism and fairy tale link to Hans Christian Anderson s Nightingale It wasn t until the Emperor called his tape recorder a cage that I remembered the story and started to see the connections between the two The reader first knows that Gayle s voice heals when she sings and the cut on Little John s hand heals Later when she heals a deer that is near death, the reader knows that this story is part fairy tale Because of this, the ending worked for me with Gayle s transformation.Gayle can t heal everyone but she does make an impact on Little John and his dad, the latter smiling for the first time in ten months after he hears her sing Mrs Cutlin and Jeb are immune to Gayle s singing suggesting they are beyond curing The characters are not completely one dimensional villains Jeb will vacillate between being a bully and showing glimmers of his humanity The Emperor wants Gayle s voice for purely selfish reasons Gayle said she could fix Little John inside Gayle brings healing just like the Nightingale in Hans Christian Andersen s story But this suggests that Gayle heals Little John by forgiving him thus, allowing him to forgive himself for hurting Gayle and causing his sister s accident that killed her.While Little John s family does not live in extreme poverty, they are poor and struggling at not making enough money to pay the rent The death and funeral expenses of his sister has wiped out any savings and Nikki Loftin not only shows how poverty effects Little John s family decisions, but leads to insecurity, powerlessness, and susceptibility to violence in the community Little John wants to do the right thing, but his family needs the money so badly that he intentionally breaks his promise to Gayle of never cutting down her tree or nest of refuge In addition, Little John is so ashamed of his family s poverty that he breaks off his friendship with his best friend, Ernest.The author presents some of the ugliness resulting in people s desperate need for money from the bruises on Gayle s arms and face to the whipping that Little John gets from his dad The Cutlins take in foster children for the money only, not because they want to help or nurture children When Little John gets beaten with a belt, his father doesn t ask Little John s side of the story he is just angry about the money and believes the Emperor s side of the story Money is always the priority for these desperate families at the expense of character and doing the right thing Later, the mom asks the dad why he s so hard on the boy and in a heartbreaking explanation the dad says it is the only way he knows how to parent The physical abuse and harsh discipline might disturb some younger readers, but it is explained after the fact and there is no descriptive violence I was most bothered by the Emperor coming across as a pedophile He isn t, but the situation captures the difficulty of knowing when it is appropriate to take action as an adult or child Little John should have talked to his dad about his suspicions He does talk to the dad about the bruises on Gayle s arm and the dad agrees to let Little John spend time with Gayle Even the adults don t take the right actions Of course, his dad s job depends on him treading carefully and his dad can t cope with his daughter s death, much less whether or not his employer is a pedophile.Little John struggles with the definition of saving people and being a man He wants to atone for his mistake of causing his sister s death by saving Gayle, but realizes that he can t save her He wants to protect Gayle from the Emperor, the Cutlins, and loss, but he fails miserably for the most part The adults force him to compromise his morals for money, from the Emperor threatening to take away his father s job to his dad telling him to cut down Gayle s tree to save them from eviction Ironically, Gayle loses her nest home at the expense of Little John keeping his The Cutlins use stolen money to have Gayle s tree removed for a garden that will feed them There is a cycle of violence surrounding money by the adults that disregards the feelings of Little John and Gayle and even Jeb One reason Jeb is a bully is to try and have some power in his powerless life This lack of authority reflects the nature of childhood However, Little John realizes that he can make small differences when he stands up to the Emperor, He had no power over me He looked broken, kneeling there As broken as Gayle As broken as my dad Little John wonders what it is like to be a man and thinks of his dad and poverty and Gayle He knows that his dad scrapes and bows to the Emperor even though he dislikes him He doesn t want to be that way, but is forced to because his family needs a home He knows that the only person who can give him work is the Emperor However, when he asks for work, the Emperor asks him to have Gayle sing for him again The first time he did this Gayle lost her voice and was devastated Little John was ashamed that he used his friendship with Gayle to make her sing for the Emperor who gave him 500 When the Emperor asks a second time, Little John stands up to him and does what he should have done the first time He says he won t have Gayle hurt again Little John wants to protect Gayle and while he is able to stand up to Jeb, his peer, throughout the novel, he learns how to stand up to powerful adults even if it means loss of money or home for his family or a whipping In a nice scene that foreshadows the resolution, Little John tells Gayle she can t fix all the hurts and she says neither can he In a beautiful parable called, The Treasure Nest, at the end, Little John describes Gayle s singing that symbolizes him as a tree and her as a bird They are both broken but find beauty in friendship and protection Gayle teaches that, Treasures don t come from the store, Little John A subplot on Little John s friendship troubles with Ernest shows that he has learned that friendship is a treasure and that true friends forgive the mistakes of others.Tree stumps symbolize Little John s whose nicknamed, Tree, by Gayle growth internally When Little John cuts down Gayle s tree, he gets sick over his betrayal of their friendship He muses over the leftover stump a symbol of their injured friendship The tree has not been completely dug up or burnt suggesting there is time to salvage the friendship In another instance, Little John looks at a different tree stump that is in their yard the one that killed his sister and it painfully reminds him of her and how he caused her death when he jumped from the tree and his sister imitated him breaking her neck in the fall His memories slowly turn from hating trees and himself to forgiveness He is responsible for her death and must find a way to forgive his mistake He s like the stumps Broken and cut to the core, but from his friendship with Gayle, the singing nightingale, he can begin to heal Little John looks at situations with a raw honesty that is moving and memorable He refreshingly takes responsibility for his actions and admits when he is wrong Forgiveness is a strong theme in this novel Even the Emperor asks for Gayle s forgiveness, although he loses his voice as a consequence of his actions When Little John climbs the tree to give Gayle the nest he made with his hair, he shows someone of great character that is willing to face his fears and live life in a positive way.The writing is gorgeous in this book She nodded, her head bobbling like a heavy sunflower on a too narrow stalk, and edged out a biton the branch Her feet were bare, and dirty Her toes were a thin as the rest of her, and kind of long she used them to clutch the branch she was on just like a baby bird would The contrast between poverty of the characters and the beauty of the singing helped balance what could have been a dark, depressing book The author also shows the community trying to help Little John s family during their troubles by bringing them dinners and showing kindness Amidst the desperation, hope shines forth This rich and complex book has the elements of an award winner that sings Don t miss it


  10. Renata Renata says:

    I think I just get too grumpy about magical realism maybe I really liked the realistic parts of this really powerful look at a family being torn apart by grief and poverty but view spoiler like was she an angel or a bird or WHAT, just like, why Also what was Mr King DOING to her Were we supposed to be reading it as sexual abuse, because that was the vibe I got But also, NOT that hide spoiler I m kind of irrationally irritated that the marketing for this compares it to Bridge to T I think I just get too grumpy about magical realism maybe I really liked the realistic parts of this really powerful look at a family being torn apart by grief and poverty but view spoiler like was she an angel or a bird or WHAT, just like, why Also what was Mr King DOING to her Were we supposed to be reading it as sexual abuse, because that was the vibe I got But also, NOT that hide spoiler I m kind of irrationally irritated that the marketing for this compares it to Bridge to Terabithia, like, how dare you Am I going to tear up when I just think about the title of your book No Then you are not Terabithia, good day


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Nightingale's Nest➚ [KINDLE] ❄ Nightingale's Nest By Nikki Loftin ➤ – Thomashillier.co.uk A powerful novel about friendship and family that calls to mind Bridge to Terabithia Twelve year old John Fischer Jr or Little John as he s always been known, is spending his summer helping his father A powerful novel about friendship and family that calls to mind Bridge to Terabithia Twelve year old John Fischer Jr or Little John as he s always been known, is spending his summer helping his father with his tree removal business, clearing brush for Mr King, the wealthy owner of a chain of Texas dollar stores, when he hears a beautiful song that transfixes him He follows the melody and finds, not a bird, but a young girl sitting in the branches of a tall syca tree There s something magical about this girl, Gayle, especially her soaring singing voice, and Little John s friendship with Gayle quickly becomes the one bright spot in his life, for his home is dominated by sorrow over his sister s death and his parents ever tightening financial difficulties But then Mr King draws Little John into an impossible choice forced to choose between his family s survival and a betrayal of Gayle that puts her future in jeopardy Inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen story, Nightingale s Nest is an unforgettable novel about a boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders and a girl with the gift of healing in her voice.


About the Author: Nikki Loftin

Nikki Loftin is the author of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, which Publishers Weekly called mesmerizing, and Kirkus called irresistible, and Nightingale s Nest, which received a starred review from Kirkus She lives with her Scottish photographer husband just outside Austin, Texas, surrounded by dogs, goats, and small, loud boys Nikki is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin graduate writing program MA, She has been a popcorn seller, waitress, bookstore employee, Music and Gifted Talented teacher, and a Director of Family MinistriesNikki teaches Zumba dance aerobics in a mostly vain attempt to combat the ever threatening Writer s Butt When under extreme stress, or on submission with a novel, she bakes obsessively as a coping technique Her favorite food obsession is ice cream, preferably Blue Bell Moo llenium Crunch On very good days, she prefers writing even to ice creamNikki is represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary Agency.