Saturday, December 2, 2023

Sweep - book review #iLoveMG

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.


Recommended by Eliana

Sweep is a capturing story written by Jonathan Auxier. It is a fantasy story about friendship and hope, which captures the reader’s mind with its descriptive details that set the reader in the moment. The story opens in a city in Victorian England, set in the late 1800s. It starts with Nan Sparrow, a young 11 year old orphaned chimney sweep. The author describes her life as hard and brutal, as she lives under the watchful eyes of her master, Wilkie Crudd. The book also goes back and forth between chapters, sometimes referring to Nan as “the girl” and telling mysterious stories about her beloved Sweep, who supposedly took care of her for her childhood. 

After The Sweep mysteriously disappears, Nan’s life falls into ruins. Ever since the Sweep has disappeared, Nan’s childhood has been a dismal journey, until Nan discovers something shocking about a piece of char that The Sweep left for her, along with his hat. The piece of char has come alive! Nan decides to name this creature Charlie, and they go through a perilous journey to find out what Charlie really is. Read more to find out what happens next. 

The author, Jonathan Auxier, includes so much detail and feeling into this book that you can really feel like you are there with Nan. In some chapters, Charlie’s personality had me laughing because he is just so hilarious to read about. The author has also included a bunch of real life events, like the holidays that Charlie and Nan learn about. Overall, this is a great book, and I would definitely read a sequel. I think that the author makes this story tie up perfectly with comedy, while also including facts from the real world. If I had to rate this book, it would be a 8/10.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

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