A 2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner! It's been five years since the Sweep disappeared. Orphaned and alone, Nan Sparrow had no other choice but to work for a ruthless chimney sweep named Wilkie Crudd. She spends her days sweeping out chimneys. The job is dangerous and thankless, but with her wits and will, Nan has managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. When Nan gets stuck in a chimney fire, she fears the end has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself unharmed in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature—a golem—made from soot and ash. Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a new life—saving each other in the process. Lyrically told by one of today's most powerful storytellers, Sweep is a heartrending adventure about the everlasting gifts of friendship and wonder.
Jonathan Auxier is the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Gardener, Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard, and Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, which the Wall Street Journal called “as delightful a magical story as readers . . . will hope to find.” He lives in Pittsburgh with his family.
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster 4.7 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I am grateful I got to read Jonathan Auxier’s book Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster. While the title and cover art intrigued me, I was immediately swept away into the world of Nan Sparrow, the stories of her Sweep, and the discovery of Charlie. With themes of protection, social justice, poverty, and literacy, and characters that are colorful, quirky, and real, Nan’s story is at heart about relationships, and how they can save us. This book has humor, heartbreak and haunting images of the evils of child labor. I look forward to holding this book in my hands, and then sharing it with my students.
More than 1 year ago
As far as I know, there wasn't a Golem in Victorian London, but the truth of this historical fantasy is that there had been chimney sweeps since the great fire of London in 1666, and it was't until 1875 that a law was passed that was strong enough to protect the children that were as young as four, that were used to climb up and clean the chimneys.
This story takes place just in 1874, and is about one such Sweep, a girl named Nan, abused, indentured to a cruel master, whose original master died, and left her a piece of char that gave her warmth. It is from this warm char that she grows her monster, or Golem, Charlie.
The original book was called Soot Golem, which is sweet, and to the point, but the name was changed, I believe, to show that it was a girl sweep which was a bit unusual, although girls were used as sweeps, as were boys.
This was a fun book, as we follow Nan, and Charlie, the monster, as they try to survive in Victorian London, while hiding from her previous master, who wants her dead.
The only issue I had with the story, where I had to suspect my disbelief, was not the golem, but on the house they hid in. Surely the neighbors would have noticed, a) smoke from the chimneys, and b) light from the windows. Although, this was the height of the "london fog", where the air was very polluted, so perhaps they couldn't notice such things.
Good characters, good friendships, and Charlie is a delight.
Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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