Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster
by Jonathan Auxier
There are all sorts of wonderful things a person might see very early in the morning…And if you are very, very lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the girl and her Sweep.
Look! Here they are now, approaching through the early fog: a thin man with a long broom over one shoulder, the end bobbing up and down with every step. And trailing behind him, pail in hand, a little girl, who loves that man more than anything in the world.
Welcome to Victorian London, where “climbing boys,” or orphans hired by chimney sweeps, fit in narrow spots, cleaning soot out of the chimneys on both sides of the Thames.
In Jonathan Auxier’s middle grade novel, Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster, the reader is introduced one such climber, young Nan Sparrow, who works for the horrible Wilkie Crudd. Nan is Master Crudd’s best climber, and she’s better than the boys. But when a dangerous climb through a chimney goes wrong, and Nan narrowly escapes with her life, she finds it’s a piece of charred clump of soot that she keeps in her pocket that saves her. Except, when it saves Nan from burning, it is no longer a small and insignificant piece of charcoal, but the soot has come to life—a golem. The golem—called Charlie—and Nan, must navigate chimneys on their own, hiding out in the so-said to be haunted House of 100 Chimneys, befriending the mudlark Toby Squall, the young boy searching for treasure to peddle in the banks of the Thames, and his rat, Prospero. Together, they will search for the clues leading them to Nan’s original Sweep, who disappeared when she was very young.
In a wondrous story that sweeps you off your feet, do not miss Jonathan Auxier’s newest novel for young readers. If you take the magic of Mary Poppins, throw in a dash of Dickens, add the heart of Nan Sparrow, then you have an original story of friendship, hope, and magic. Then you have Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster.