Ellen Plumb's is lucky to receive advanced reader copies (ARC) of books yet to be put on the shelf. This allows us to get feedback on the books from readers in our community.
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
A review by Lindsey Bartlett
This is a beautifully written book for young adult readers, but is sure to entrance adult readers as well. At a little over two hundred pages this could have been a breezy read, but I read it slowly. Taking in small sections, letting the words, images, and people wash over me. The book demanded that.
Anna is just seven years old in 1939 living Krakow. Her father, a linguistics professor is taken by the Germans during their purge of intellectuals. Anna is left alone, and frightened. Throughout the course of the novel, Anna’s startling insights are heartrending, and profound especially for a girl so young. Then Anna meets the Swallow Man, he is tall, thin, and extremely mysterious. Both intrigued and a little afraid of him, ANna follows him into the woods. As Anna and the Swallow Man trek through the woods crossing various borders, and meeting new people friend and foe alike they both try desperately not to be found.Awash in the elements of magical realism, but still firmly grounded in the atrocious events of World War II, this is a book full of situations that have no good solutions. Through all of it Anna and her Swallow Man keep their bond, and somehow manage to prevail.