What Makes Someone a Monster?

Today I have a book that begs the question “what makes someone a monster?” Set in Victorian England, a young chimney sweep discovers a golem who may just be the most human character of all.

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Title: Sweepwhat makes someone a monster sweep

Author: Jonathan Auxier

Target: Grades 4-6

Series: No

What this book is about:

Nan Sparrow is an eleven-year-old chimney sweep in Victorian London.  Hers is a difficult life with poverty and brutally difficult work than many children do not survive.  When she gets caught in a chimney fire, she barely escapes with the help of a small creature. This creature grows and changes until it becomes a golem and the two of them carve out a life together.  But just who is saving whom is the question.

Why I love this book:

  • This one had me hooked by the first chapter.  Auxier is a brilliant writer and he has crafted a story with plenty of action and intrigue, that also has a very human side.  Kids will get completely caught up in the exploits while feeling compassion for the characters.
  • I loved the historical context of the novel.  Learning about the lives of these chimney sweep children was really chilling and knowing that the fiction was based in truth made it all the more compelling.  Auxier also includes the backstory of child labor in Victorian England.
  • The golem absolutely tugged at my heartstrings.  I wanted to scream at his naivete but was totally empathetic to his need to protect Nan.

Who this book is for:

Good book for kids who like action and human interest.  If your kids loved The Night Gardner this is a slam dunk.  This will also be a hit with kids who loved How to Catch a Bogle and The Great Trouble.

Final thoughts:

I usually write book reviews right after I finish a book, but this one took me a few days because of unforeseen circumstances.  I was amazed at how much of the story stuck with me, a sign of a really good story.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Sweep.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.