Sunday, January 6, 2019

Book Review: Sweep by Jonathan Auxier (MG historical fiction)

"A sweep is as lucky/as lucky can be," sings Dick van Dyke (watch him on YouTube)

Sweeps are lucky because they survived their childhood labour as Climbing Boys. In Victorian London, every day, all day, Climbing Boys were forced to--with brushes in hand--climb into chimneys. Some got trapped. Others fell from roofs. Others...

Though most of the Sweeps in Jonathan Auxier's book are cruel, protagonist Nan Sparrow's Sweep--the man who raised her--is almost saintly in his selflessness. In an attempt to make Nan's life tolerable, he gives her all he has. Before he disappears into the shadows, he leaves behind his last gift--a lump of soot and ash. 

The right gift--no matter how seemingly insignificant--given to the right person can transform a life.

Published by Puffin
an imprint of
 Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers
Published in 2018

Winner of the 2018 Scotia Bank Giller literary award, 
Sweep:  The Story of a Girl and her Monster is one of those rare books that remains with you long after you finish reading the last page. 

Favourite quotes...

'You can't have courage without fear.' (p. 296)
'We save ourselves by saving others.' (p. 333)


49th Shelf chats with Jonathan Auxier

Early sketches of the characters in Sweep

Jonathan Auxier's author website

Next post...

Sunday, January 13 (at approximately 5 PM PT)

Guest Post: International published children's literature author Gloria Van Donge (The Gifted Kid Book series) shares her author journey.

Sharing my author journey...

No fluffy bluish white ice crystals fell on Mayne Island this winter but that doesn't mean we didn't have challenges.

Wind storms caused power outages. The first one for three days (or longer--depending on where you were on the island). The other two for less than a day. 
What did I do?
I learned how to cook on a wood stove. 
scrambled eggs
french toast
grilled cheese sandwiches
and I read some good reads. I can't wait to share my book reviews with you--and I will in the coming weeks.