This week we continue our trend of Recommended Reads for Young Adults. This one comes from Kate Mackrell, who has been doing work experience with us here at The Reader.
Anna and the Swallow Man is the debut novel written of American Author Gavriel Savit.
The story is about a seven year old girl named Anna Łania whose father is taken away from her by the Gestapo. She is growing up in Kraków, Poland and the country has just been invaded and taken over by the Nazis and the Soviets. The story contains her life without her father and with the new man who takes care of her, named The Swallow Man.
The Swallow Man takes Anna away from her home but his natural gift for languages reminds Anna of her multilingual father which leads to her befriending him and they stay together drifting through forests and the country but avoiding cities.
‘Human beings are the best hope in a world of other human beings to survive’ – Anna and The Swallow Man, Gavriel Savit.
Anna enjoys learning about the world and frequently asks The Swallow Man about it and even once saying ‘One day I would like to know everything, like you.’ Anna begins by following the man around but as the book goes on Anna grows older and in a sense more vulnerable than before however with this she becomes more mature and The Swallow Man starts to follow and depend on Anna. On their journey together they meet lots of new friends for a short while who they will never meet again and one unlikely friend they both hold dear to their hearts.
Anna and the Swallow Man is a heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship between a man and a little girl who unite to try and face a world at war. They start off as strangers but as time goes on they become the closest of families. I would recommend this read to any young adult as it’s a fascinating story of survival and friendship.