Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Written in spare beautiful prose, this extraordinary story will haunt readers. It begins in Krakow in 1939. Seven-year-old Anna is left to fend for herself when her father fails to collect her at the end of the day. Though Anna is fluent in many languages, she has no way to understand the new world in which she lives. By chance she falls in with a stranger, seemingly as alone as she is. He allows her to call him the Swallow Man – ‘names are ways for people to find us’ – and teaches her how to survive in this new landscape. Their unusual friendship grows and, though the Swallow Man can’t protect Anna from the realities of war, their relationship remains truthful, full of compassion and trust. A powerful and deeply moving story, highly recommended for mature, resilient readers. ~ Andrea Reece


Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

Krakow, 1939, is no place to grow up. There are a million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. And Anna Lania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father and suddenly, she's alone. Then she meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall. And like Anna's missing father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced. Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgement, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous...


The breakout WWII drama ... is causing quite the stir amongst both adults and the pre-teens it's aimed at Stylist - 'Your Essential 2016 Reading List

A beautifully haunting and thought -provoking story of friendship that lingers long after the last page Ruta Sepetys

A bold first novel that promises more from the undoubtedly talented Savit Guardian

A beautifully written debut Sunday Express

An astonishingly accomplished debut about war, survival and humanity ... this is very much in the territory of The Book Thief and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas with all the potential that such a comparison suggests -- Fiona Noble The Bookseller - One to Watch

About the Author

Gavriel Savit graduated in musical theatre. As an actor and singer, Gavriel has performed on three continents, from New York to Brussels to Tokyo. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Anna and the Swallow Man is his first novel.

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Book Info


240 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Gavriel Savit
More books by Gavriel Savit


The Bodley Head Ltd an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Publication date

28th January 2016




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