Anna and the Swallow Man is that it’s told entirely from a child’s perspective, a world seen through seven-year-old’s eyes. It is a bleak, desperate world; the war is slowly brewing and people are disappearing left and right, including Anna’s father who goes to a meeting at the University and never returns. The streets Krakow in 1939 are no place for a seven-year-old child to be alone.
Enter a mysterious stranger Anna names Swallow Man after he displays his proficiency with languages including the ability to speak to birds. Intrigued by this man, Anna begins to follow him and the two stay together, walking across Poland, for many years. During this duo’s travels, the Swallow Man teaches Anna many lessons, cultivating her ability to survive with or without him.
This is a complex story that will challenge readers. This is a novel for those students who enjoyed The Book Thief, The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas and Night.
“Savit’s economical prose beautifully captures a child’s loss of innocence and the spiritual challenges that emerge when a safe world suddenly becomes threatening.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“The third-person narrative—lyrical, fluid, with a pervasive shadow of menace—lends a folkloric feel to a graceful story steeped in history, magic, myth, and archetype; comparisons to The Book Thief are apt.” —The Horn Book, Starred Review