Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster (Amulet Books, 2018) by Jonathan Auxier is a book to love and hate. I love the story; I love the main character. I hate the villains and the callous treatment of chimney sweeps in Victorian London.
Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is employed by the cruel Wilkie Crudd as a chimney sweep. So far she’s managed to survive, but one day she gets stuck in a chimney, and a fire is lit beneath her to get her out. Somehow she wakes up in an attic. She and her new friend need a place to stay, away from Wilkie Crudd. Eventually they try to help all children who work as chimney sweeps, too.
This is a fantastic tale. I wish all would read this story about friendships and survival. The book won the 2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers.
Read about the author’s other books here. Read about him here and watch his changing author picture. 😉 Check out the monster faces here.
I loved Skylark and Wallcreeper (Little Bee/Yellow Jacket Books, 2018) by Anne O’Brien Carelli so much!
Two historical events (at least to children) in one book. Two twelve-year-olds: Collette in France in 1944; Lily in Queens in 2012. One is helping the resistance against the Nazis and the collaborators. The other is helping her grandmother and others in the nursing home deal with Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath. But the best part is that Lily is Collette’s granddaughter and neither Lily, nor her mother, know about Collette’s past. That changes through a circumstances of events and Lily’s own determination.
The book is a CYBILS (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary) AWARD Finalist and a Mighty Girl’s 2018 Best Book of the Year.
Read about Anne here. Follow her on Twitter here.
I’m hoping we hear about more books from her soon.
If you loved Maggie Siefvater’s Scorpio Races, I think you’ll love The Wicked Deep (Simon Pulse, 2018) by Shea Ernshaw. Both books are eerie.
Two centuries ago, in the small town of Sparrow, three teen girls were drowned in the harbor for being witches. Each June since, they return and take possession of teen girls’ bodies. The locals call it the Swan season after the dead girls. And each season at least three boys will be drowned for revenge. Sometimes it is local boys and sometimes tourists.
Our main character is seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot who lives on Lumiere Island with her grief-stricken mother. A boy comes to town looking for work and Penny gets involved with him. Can she save him from the three sisters?
This books has unexpected twists and turns, flashbacks to the past, and keeps one turning the pages. I highly recommend it.
This is author Shea Ernshaw’s debut and it quickly became a NY Times Best Seller. Netflix won the screen rights to the book–I hope they make the movie! Though I might not be able to watch it alone…
Read Shea’s bio here. I’m looking forward to her next book. Read this tweet about it.
Perfect Picture Book Friday
No More Noisy Nights (Flashlight Press, 2017) by Holly L. Niner and illustrated by Guy Wolek is a fun book I think both kids and adults will enjoy.
Jackson has just moved into his new house and settled down to sleep when he discovers he has a noisy neighbor. He comes up with a creative idea to keep his neighbor quiet so he can sleep. But then he learns he has another noisy neighbor. He solves that problem. The third night it happens again. Finally, Jackson can sleep peacefully.
You can hear the book read aloud on the author’s site here plus see Holly’s other books.
Awards for this book include: Mom’s Choice Award Gold Winner; Mississippi Magnolia Children’s Choice Award PreK-2 List, 2019; and Scholastic Book Club Selection.
See a variety of the illustrator’s work here and read about Guy here.
Perfect Picture Book Friday
Hammer and Nails (Flashlight Press, 2016) by Josh Bledsoe and illustrated by Jessica Warrick is a darling picture book. It’s especially perfect for Daddy’s with girls to read to their daughters.
Darcy has plans to play with her best friend, but now the friend is sick so Darcy’s day is ruined. Or so she thinks. Daddy suggests they have a Darcy-Daddy Day doing one thing from her list and one thing from his. She doesn’t think he’ll like what’s on her list, but he asks her to give him a chance.
Like Darcy, I think you’ll be smiling.
Click here to see some of the awards for this book.
The illustrations are cute, funny, and really add to the story. You can check out illustrator Jessica Warrick’s books here and her illustrations here.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an author website.