Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...

Find out more

Anna and the Swallow Man

Written by Gavriel Savit

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers Historical Fiction Recommended Children's eBooks

LoveReading View on Anna and the Swallow Man

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 Synopsis

Anna and the Swallow Man is a stunning, literary, and wholly original debut novel that tells a new WW2 story. 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 ...

Anna and the Swallow Man Press Reviews

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


A chilling, stylishly written and utterly memorable story Guardian, Best New Children's Books 2016

A small wonder, and for once a book worthy of the hype Alex O'Connell, The Times

Tense, moving, original and skilled, this phenomenal debut will seize sophisticated readers Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times - Children's Book of the Week

It sometimes seems there can be no stories left to tell about the anguish of Nazi-occupied countries in 1939-45 but the debut novel by Gavriel Savit makes the territory new Observer

This wonderfully original concept, enigmatic in style yet grounded in brutal reality, is written with deceptive power and grace Daily Mail

A stark and beautifully written tale that will leave you feeling unsettled yet enthralled Woman Magazine

Savit's young adult novel reveals the power and danger of language, the necessity for deceit when humanity is under siege and ... the hope that we will all find a guardian when we most need it Sainsbury's Magazine

Savit brilliantly dramatizes the adventures of survival ... this book has an enticing sense of fable Daily Telegraph

Savit's story is aimed at anyone who will listen. A 10-year-old may identify with Anna. A teenage reader will absorb the deftness and sophistication of the telling. An adult will find his or her expectations challenged New York Times

If you loved this, you might like these...

Beyond the Bright Sea
Wolf Hollow
My [Secret] YouTube Life

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780141376646
Publication date: 02/02/2017
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781782300526
Publication date: 28/01/2016
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780141376646
Publication date: 2nd February 2017
Author: Gavriel Savit
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 256 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Historical Fiction
Recommendations: eBooks

About Gavriel Savit

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.

More About Gavriel Savit

More Books By Gavriel Savit

Cover for Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
View All Books By Gavriel Savit

Share this book