The Story of A Girl and Her Monster

Book - 2018
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In nineteenth-century England, after her father's disappearance Nan Sparrow, ten, works as a "climbing boy," aiding chimney sweeps, but when her most treasured possessions end up in a fireplace, she unwittingly creates a golem.
Publisher: New York : Amulet Books, 2018.
ISBN: 9781419731402
Characteristics: 344 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Story of a girl & her monster


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Chicago Public Library recommends this title as one of the best books published in 2018.

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Dec 10, 2018

Auxier infuses his historical fiction with the fantastic. We first encounter the Sweep, the dreaming, and her singing, but soon there is the monster, a golem. Auxier’s golem is the most marvelous creation. Really, Auxier creates many marvelous characters, even the villainous ones.

Sweep will break your heart in multiple ways, and you’ll feel grateful. You’ll also laugh, I hope—certainly smile. Sweep is humorous and charming. Sweep is also deadly serious. “We save ourselves by saving others,” is not a quaint idea to letter in cursive on a blank wall or t-shirt. The gift of life is negotiated in the harshest of circumstances, as is the loss of it. Neither Sweep or Nan can afford to romanticize any of it; nor does such a romantic lens suit them.

n Sweep, Nan’s dreams and voice have a magical quality, and the message resonates. Dreams and voices, resourcefulness, courage and determination…young people have these things, both inside the book and out. Given that spark of purpose/meaning, what can’t/won’t they do? Whose lives may be saved in the process.

Recommended for those who enjoy friendship stories, historical fiction, and/or adventure; those who enjoy grit, horror and/or the macabre. For those interested in fem-friendly reads and/or Jewish characters. For readers of Derek Landy, Neil Gaiman, Frances Hardinge, or Christopher Priestly. If they are a sensitive reader, read this one aloud with them, you’ll both enjoy it.


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Dec 10, 2018

“Is It a magic chessman?” The girl ran her thumb over the cracked base. It did not seem very magical. “Will the brave knight fight the charity men in my dreams?”

“It’s not magic. It’s a reminder.” The Sweep mussed her hair. “The brave knight is YOU. And YOU can fight them for yourself.” (296)


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