Great beach read - 8th grade and up
I was fortunate to receive an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book - thus my review. Gavriel Savit pulls from mythical folklore and the history pages of World War II to tell this fascinating story, set in Poland and Germany during the late 1930s, early 1940s. Meet a little girl- Anna, left orphan, during Hitler's horrific crimes of devastation in Poland. Soon, her life becomes entwined with the Swallow Man's. As they journey to escape danger, Anna learns survival techniques and life lessons, along the way. Together, Anna and the Swallow Man avoid death and meet many - some good and some bad.
This is a powerful story, but not appropriate for Middle School age, as is listed in some advertisements. (Expect a couple F words!)
The descriptions of war, death, rape, companionship, gaining knowledge, survival and self-growth are powerful. It's a very literary, descriptive, and poetic read which would lend itself to an advanced high school reading class, studying metaphorical and symbolic literature.
The Swallow Man teaches Anna about war, “Our weapons are knowledge and observation and patience and time, and given enough of those last two, our weapons will always prevail.” What a fabulous quote! There are so many more, like this, throughout the book.
I see signs of a possible book two, in the final chapters of this book!