Sweep by Jonathan Auxier

Back to some Cybils books while I tabulate more end-of-year things.

Sweep by Jonathan AuxierSweep: the Story of a Girl and her Monster by Jonathan Auxier. Amulet Books, 2018.
Nan Sparrow lived with the Sweep, a kindly man who took care of her, teaching her the chimney sweep trade, and making story soup for her when they couldn’t find food.  But he disappeared, leaving behind only a small char that always stayed warm.  Then, Nan found work as one of the gang of mostly boys working for the cruel Crudd, who wouldn’t hesitate to light a fire under a kid stuck in a chimney to “encourage” them to find a way out.  Then her char grows into a living, talking creature made of char – Charlie – and she knows she has to get away from Crudd for both their sakes.

The story is filled with the good and bad of Victorian London, painting a well-researched and captivating picture.  There are also lots of memorable characters, including Nan’s mudlark friend and admirer Toby Squall and Miss Bloom, the kind teacher at a private school – both of them keeping their Jewishness a secret from almost everyone except Nan.  There’s the cruel Crudd, the sweet and innocent new sweep boy Newt, and most marvelously, Charlie the soot golem.  An afterward explains the origins of the story, the horrible truth of child sweeps in Victorian London, and the sad truth that child labor continues to this day.

Pair this with Catherine Jinks’ How to Catch a Bogle series, or Rose by Holly Webb (also a Cybils finalist) for more tales of hard-working orphans in fantasy Victorian-era cities.

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
This entry was posted in Books, Fantasy, Historical, Middle Grade, Print and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Sweep by Jonathan Auxier

  1. Pingback: Cybils Finalists Announced! | alibrarymama

  2. Pingback: Anya and the Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack | alibrarymama

  3. Pingback: Ripped Away by Shirley Vernick | alibrarymama

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s