A brand-new novel by one of today's most powerful storytellers, Sweep is a heart-rending adventure about the everlasting gifts of friendship and hope.
For nearly a century, Victorian London relied on "climbing boys"--orphans owned by chimney sweeps--to clean flues and protect homes from fire. The work was hard, thankless and brutally dangerous. Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived--and a girl. With her wits and will, she's managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again.
But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature--a golem--made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire.
Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life together--saving one another in the process.
JONATHAN AUXIER teaches creative writing and children's literature. He is the author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, which was a Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award Honour Book and was also shortlisted for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy and the Diamond Willow Award. His second book, The Night Gardener, was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award, the Silver Birch Award and the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award. His third book, Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard, received four starred reviews and was shortlisted for the Sunburst Fantasy Award in Canada. Auxier grew up near Vancouver and now lives in Pittsburgh with his family.
www.thescop.com Social: @jonathanauxier
One of Book Riot’s Top 100 Children’s Books of 2018
One of CBC Books’ Best Canadian Children's & YA Books of 2018
One of The Boston Globe's Best Children’s Books of 2018
One of Wall Street Journal’s Best Children’s Books of 2018
One of Quill & Quire's Books of the Year 2018
One of Canadian Children's Book Centre’s Favourite Books of the Year 2018
One of Horn Book Fanfare's Best Books of 2018
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Children’s and YA Books 2018
One of New York Public Library’s Best Books for Kids 2018
One of Montreal Gazette’s Best Books to Give Kids for the Holidays 2018
One of CCBC’S Best Books for Kids & Teens (Spring 2019)
PRAISE FOR Sweep:
"This dazzling, warmhearted novel contemplates selflessness and saving, deep love and what makes a monster." --Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
"As heartbreaking as bleak midwinter — and as hopeful as early spring." --Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“History and mythology combine in the moving story of a young chimney sweep in Victorian London.” --Wall Street Journal
“Sweep is both specific in its setting and universal in its consideration of what makes people both selfish and noble, and how social and economic circumstances can destroy or elevate. . . . Highly recommended.” --Highly recommended, Jewish Book Council
"This tale of a young chimney sweep and her golem will make you laugh and cry and cheer for the children. . . . Auxier. . . weaves a wondrous tale that wraps readers tightly and pulls them into a world where a very special magic exists.” --The Book Reader Today
“[A] fantastical and vibrant story encapsulating the horrific experiences of young sweeps along with a nuanced and sensitive exploration of friendship, loss, and fighting for those you love." --CM Magazine
“The blend of myth, magic, and history will keep kids turning the pages and leave them sorry when it’s over.” --Canadian Children’s Book News
"Sweep’s ambition and sophistication are impressive." --Quill & Quire
". . . a tale that is both uplifting and heartbreaking." --New York Times
“It's filled with love and imagination. . . [and] it's beautifully told.” --CBC The Next Chapter
"[an] engrossing fantasy" --The Boston Gobe
"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." --Starred Review, Booklist
"Weaving together strands of Jewish folklore (Nan calls Charlie a “soot golem”), Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, Shelley’s Frankenstein, the history of child-labor reform, and his own threads of magical realism, Auxier crafts a beautiful, hopeful story out of some ugly realities of nineteenth-century British life." --Starred Review, Horn Book Magazine
"Jonathan Auxier weaves a magical spell that draws readers right into the stark, gritty streets of Victorian London . . . Readers will be entranced." --Starred Review, School Library Connection