|Sweep : the story of a girl and her monster|
Author: Auxier, Jonathan
In nineteenth-century England, after her father's disappearance Nan Sparrow, ten, works as a "climbing boy," aiding chimney sweeps, but when her most treasured possessions end up in a fireplace, she unwittingly creates a golem.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 196899
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.50
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 75392
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/18)
School Library Journal (08/01/18)
Booklist (+) (08/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/07/18)
The Hornbook (+) (00/11/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2018 *Starred Review* Victorian London is often magically made over in novels, and Auxier (The Night Gardener, 2014) uses Jewish folklore as kindling for his wondrous, yet at times grim, story of Nan Sparrow, one of London’s cadre of child chimney sweeps. Nearly 12, she works for the heartless Wilkie Crudd, who is nothing like the fatherly Sweep, who taught Nan to climb a chimney better than any boy. Though the Sweep disappeared five years ago, she still dreams of him and keeps the warm lump of charcoal he left behind in her pocket. On a routine job, Nan gets stuck in a flue and is saved by the Sweep’s coal, which reveals itself to be a golem. Nan lets Crudd believe she died and hides with the golem, Charlie, in an abandoned house. At first, the freedom is blissful, but as Charlie grows larger, Nan becomes concerned about keeping him safe—though Nan is the one who needs protecting. Auxier wipes away the grime from a bleak chapter in history where children were forced to work dangerous jobs that claimed many lives. He questions what makes one a monster and applauds helping others, activism, education, earthly marvels, and the possibility of magic. Nan’s fiery personality will attract readers like moths, and Auxier’s unusual blend of mythology and history will keep them transfixed. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2018 Gr 5–8—A stunning historical fantasy novel about the power of friendship, our potential for courage, and the beauty of remembering loved ones, set in Victorian England. Nan is one of the many child sweeps who have the dangerous job of cleaning chimneys. She wakes one morning to find her beloved father figure, the Sweep, gone, a lump of char in his place. Years later, Nan gets caught in a chimney fire and is rescued by the char, who springs to life as a Golem named Charlie. Nan soon befriends a young teacher named Miss Bloom, from whom she learns that Golems no longer live after their purpose is served. When a young sweep dies, Nan, her fellow sweeps, and Miss Bloom organize a protest on May Day to reveal the dangers of their job to the general public. Meanwhile, Nan realizes the Golem's true purpose and with it, the difficulty of letting go. Auxier phenomenally weaves historical facts and fantasy. While the feats of these child sweeps seem incredible, Auxier provides back matter in the form of historical notes to clarify fact from fiction. Nan's strong yet vulnerable personality will appeal to readers, and a realistic set of secondary characters add depth to the plot. The novel's structure is a nod to William Blake and will delight teachers and librarians. VERDICT Excellent writing and skillful integration of historical fact with compelling characters make this a must-buy where middle grade fantasy is in demand.—Amy McInerney, Falmouth Elementary School, ME - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.