Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Last updated Monday, September 30, 2019

Author: Jonathan Auxier
Date of Publication: 2018
ISBN: 1419731408
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2019

Synopsis: 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.


• ambitious (pg. 3) -- having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed

• disgruntled (pg. 5) -- angry or dissatisfied

• forage (pg. 13) -- a wide search over an area in order to obtain something, especially food or provisions

• peer (pg. 14) -- look keenly or with difficulty at someone or something

• inheritance (pg. 16) -- a thing that is inherited

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  This story is set in London. What comes to mind when you think of London (food, architecture, activities etc.)?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Who did Nan work for? What led her to work for them? Think about what you would like to be when you grow up!
•  Why did Nan hate school? Think of a few reasons why you love school!
•  How did the girls from the school respond to Nan after she realized she was stuck? Why is it important to be nice and lend a helping hand to others?
•  Who is Charlie? What do you think of Nan and Charlie's relationship? Why was Charlie so important to Nan?
•  Do you have any guesses on what Charlie is?

Craft ideas:
•  Nan works for a chimney sweep, Wilkie Crudd. Design your own London-style house, with a chimney!
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!