Sweep

By Jonathan Auxier,

Book cover of Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Book description

From the New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Auxier comes an enchanting standalone novel about the power of friendship and the beauty of finding home

Nan Sparrow is one of London's countless "climbers"-children who spend their days cleaning chimneys. The work is brutal and dangerous. Thanks to her wits and…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Sweep as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Set in 1875 London, this children’s novel tells the story of a hungry, overworked girl who labors as a chimney sweep and the golem made of soot who cares for her.

I adore the idea of a soot golem as a caregiver and someone to care for. And don’t we all need to love and be loved, even though it can feel scary and risky at times? This story made me want my own soot monster. 

What if justice is helped along by a magical soot golem? In a fantastical Victorian London, an orphaned girl Nan works as a chimney sweep, a job which can only be done by children skinny enough to fit through the chimney pipes. (Mary Poppins lied to us!) When she’s nearly killed while trapped in a tight bend, she’s saved by the “char” her former guardian, known only as the Sweep, left with her, who grows into a soot golem that Nan then must care for. Their adventures lead them to fight to bring awareness to the plight of chimney…

Orphaned Nan is living the scary and treacherous life as a young chimney sweeper. After getting stuck in a chimney and almost killed by fire, she is saved by a mysterious “monster” made out of soot and ash…a Golem. This is the beginning of a beautiful, special friendship. Living in an attic together, Nan and the Golem look out for each other weaving a contrast of love, courage, and kindness into a story set against a brutally harsh backdrop of hopelessness in Victorian London. Jonathan Auxier’s writing is so brilliant and descriptive I could feel the freezing cold of the…

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