Loftin, Nikki. Nightingale's Nest. Razorbill, 2014.
John is spending his summer helping his father with his tree-trimming business and taking care of his mother, who is still grieving the loss of his little sister. He meets Gayle during one of his father's jobs and is confused and intrigued by the little girl who can sing like a bird and spends most of her days in a tree. She is a foster child, but she claims her parents will return to find her in "her tree." John must balance his friendship with Gayle with his responsibilities to his family, while solving the mystery of his father's current client's obsession with Gayle's voice.
This book reads like an historical fiction novel, but the mentions of cell phones and video games make it obvious that it is supposed to be a modern setting. The story reads like contemporary fiction except for Gayle's character. The lyrical writing style makes this book an obvious Newbery contender.
Recommended for: middle grade
Red Flags: hints of abuse, John's mom is grieving and often acts as though his sister is still alive
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
Read-Alikes: The Paper Cowboy, Okay for Now, Bridge to Terabithia