About My Book Reviews

Friday, May 8, 2020

Sweep: A Story of a Girl and her Monster by Jonathon Auxier

Title: Sweep: A Story of a Girl and her Monster

Author: Jonathon Auxier

Published: 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction (with fantasy elements)

Grade Level: Middle Grade

-Trigger Warning: Child labor/endangerment


Read by: Sarah Coomers

Length: 8hrs 14min

Recommend: Yes!

Blurb (from goodreads):

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. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life together--saving one another in the process.

My Scores:

Writing Style: Top Notch

I have tried reading other books by Auxier before, but none of them have captured my attention until now. This book is a true masterpiece! I loved every minute of it!

The novel is set in Victorian England, which was one of the main reasons I was instantly drawn to the book. Victorian literature is a true passion of mine, so it was so wonderful to see so many references from William Blake to Mary Shelley.

I also love the realistically dark and grim tone that is carried throughout the novel. Death, poverty, homelessness, and hardship are realities that these characters face as children during a time when child labor was commonplace. 

Characters: Absolutely Amazing

The dangers these characters face is always at the forefront of their minds and so by extension your own mind. Unlike other children’s fiction, the safety of these characters never felt like a guarantee.

These characters are engaging, clever, complex, and completely lovable. It was hard not to get personally invested.

Plot: Absolute Page Turner

The plotline is told in an interesting way because it contained several flashbacks that often paralleled with the themes of the present plotline, which I thoroughly appreciated.

The pacing is spectacular, there is never a dull moment to be had! Even though the audiobook is a good length (being 8hrs), it was over too soon (which of course is a sign of a great time)!

Overall: Totally Obsessed

I am completely in love with this book and want the world to read it! Even if children’s fiction isn’t your go-to read, this book is sure to entertain all ages! It is realistically dark yet full of hope and fantasy. The writing is full of complex literary elements, along with several references to Victorian literature, that anyone in love with the written word can appreciate. 

Goodreads Rating: 10 out of 5 stars (if I could, lol!)

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