MMGM Review: Sweep, by Jonathan Auxier
When Lucy handed me Sweep, she gave me a warning: "You will love this book, Mama. But you should know... it's one of those books that makes your heart hurt. But then...you're glad it hurt. Do you know what I mean?"
I did. I do even more, now that I've read it.
Sometimes a story can pierce us through with that heartbreak that goes along with life's most beautiful moments. It cuts to the quick and reminds us that there is more to life than the petty and mundane. As Pope Benedict XVI said, "The beautiful wounds."
Sweep is heartbreaking, and oh, so beautiful. You must read it for its gorgeous atmospheric description of Victorian London, its humorous characters, its affirmation of the importance of selfless friendship. Most of all, you must read it for its reminder that life is a beautiful gift, even when it doesn't look they way we'd expect.
And then, when you're done reading the story, you must read the Author's Note for all the same reasons. The life experiences that Jonathan Auxier brought to this story in such a brilliant manner were a beautiful, transcendent punch in the gut.
Okay, enough from me! Here's the publisher's description for a more plot-focused and less emotive description of the story. :)
It's been five years since the Sweep disappeared. Orphaned and alone, Nan Sparrow had no other choice but to work for a ruthless chimney sweep named Wilkie Crudd. She spends her days sweeping out chimneys. The job is dangerous and thankless, but with her wits and will, Nan has managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again.
When Nan gets stuck in a chimney fire, she fears the end has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself unharmed in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature—a golem—made from soot and ash.
Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a new life—saving each other in the process. Lyrically told by one of today's most powerful storytellers, Sweep is a heartrending adventure about the everlasting gifts of friendship and wonder.
You can purchase Sweep from Amazon and earn me a tiny commission by clicking the image above--or better yet, as I will always remind you--support your local indie bookstore and buy it from them instead!
Find more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday recommendations on Greg Pattridge's blog!