Synopses & Reviews
A powerful novel about friendship and family that calls to mind Bridge to Terabithia
Twelve-year-old John Fischer Jr., or Little John” as hes 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 sycamore tree.
Theres something magical about this girl, Gayle, especially her soaring singing voice, and Little Johns friendship with Gayle quickly becomes the one bright spot in his life, for his home is dominated by sorrow over his sisters death and his parents ever-tightening financial difficulties.
But then Mr. King draws Little John into an impossible choiceforced to choose between his familys 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.
"Loftin debuts with a smart, fresh, and thoroughly modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Nothing is going right for 11-year-old Lorelei Robinson. Her mother's death has torn her family apart, her father has married a woman who doesn't like kids, and her school just burned down. Good thing a shiny new school popped up over the weekend, and it's awesome: there are all-you-can-eat meals, endless bowls of candy on the desks, a playground to die for and students only attend classes when they want. Lorelei's new friend Andrew is sure there's something suspicious about the way the students can't stop eating (his own weight issues have taught him food awareness), and Lorelei soon comes to agree. The darkness that Loftin layers over her story makes this a mesmerizing read, though some grisly details may be too much for sensitive readers. By incorporating real problems that children face the death of a parent, peer pressure, bullying, obesity, and learning disabilities Loftin anchors her characters and creates a fantasy that feels simultaneously classic and new. Ages 8 12. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary and Media." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A mesmerizing read. . . . a fantasy that feels simultaneously classic and new."—Publishers Weekly
"An irresistible contemporary fairy tale. . . . Deliciously scary and satisfying."—Kirkus
"A wickedly intriguing, deliciously eerie read." --New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith
PRAISE FOR NIGHTINGALE'S NEST:
“It was the writing, of course, that struck my attention first. Loftin gives the book beautiful sequences filled with equally beautiful sentences. . . . As for the characters, there wasnt a person here that I couldnt recognize as real. I was quite taken with the fact that Loftin continually sidesteps a lot of the usual middle grade tropes. . . . Smart and beautiful by turns, Nightingales Nest does one thing that few will contest. Once youve read it, youll have a hard time getting it out of your head.” -Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal Blog
"Unusual, finely crafted story of loss, betrayal, and healing." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Magical realism meets coming of age in this sensitive and haunting novel . . . . Read this aloud and have both boys and girls alike utterly enraptured." -BCCB, starred review
"It is Loftins skill in depicting both the human and the arboreal characters that will engage and inspire readers. The lyrical, descriptive prose and the hopeful ending will linger long after the final chapter." —School Library Journal
"An extraordinary read—I had to tear myself away from it."—Katherine Catmull, author of Summer and Bird
"Perfectly captures the challenges of growing up and dealing with loss. Get ready to have your heart touched."—Shannon Messenger, author of Keeper of the Lost Cities
"Tugs and tears at the readers heart. . . . lovely and magical."—Bethany Hegedus, author of Truth with a Capital T and Between Us Baxters
"Riveting. . . . This is a book you'll long remember."—Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of One for the Murphys
"Loftin's eye for strange beauty in unexpected places often takes the reader's breath away."—Claire Legrand, author of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls
"Will haunt your soul—and lift your heart."—Kimberley Griffiths Little, author of The Healing Spell and When the Butterflies Came
"A haunting, beautifully told story!"—Bobbie Pyron, author of The Dogs of Winter and A Dog's Way Home
"The kind of book I wanted to read slowly."—Shelley Moore Thomas, author of The Seven Tales of Trinket
"This is a work of tremendous heart."—Anne Ursu, author of Breadcrumbs
PRAISE FOR NIKKI LOFTIN:
"A mesmerizing read."—Publisher's Weekly
"An irresistable contemporary fairy tale."—Kirkus Reviews
Spooky twists and soaring prose make this foodie update on Hansel and Gretel an unforgettable must-read.
Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academyand#151;Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei's favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do the teachers seem so sinister?
It's up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bonesand#151;and might even pick them clean!
Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you've got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.
About the Author
Nikki Loftin lives and writes just outside Austin, Texas, surrounded by dogs, chickens, and small, loud boys. She is also the author of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, which Publishers Weekly called mesmerizing” and Kirkus called irresistible.” Her third novel, Wish Girl, will published in 2015. You can visit her online at www.nikkiloftin.com or on Twitter @NikkiLoftin.