Hi, I'm Jonathan! I write strange stories for strange kids. This is my website, where I talk about children's books old & new.
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster
For nearly a century, Victorian London relied on “climbers”—orphans owned by chimney sweeps—to clean flues and protect homes from fire. The work was hard, thankless, and brutally dangerous. Eleven year old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived—beating the deadly odds time and time again.
But when Nan passes out in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead she wakes to find herself in a abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a nameless creature—a golem—made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire.
SWEEP is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life together—saving one another in the process. By one of today’s most powerful storytellers, SWEEP is a heartrending adventure about the everlasting gifts of friendship and hope.
SWEEP received six starred reviews, was a PJ Library and Junior Library Guild selection and has won Canada’s Governor General’s Award, the NCTE Charlotte Huck Award, and the AJL Sydney Taylor Gook Award.
The Night Gardener
A chilling ghost story about two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.
The Night Gardener is a New York Times bestseller, a Junior Library Guild Selection, Amazon “Best Book” for May 2014, and an ABA “Indie Next” pick. It received five starred reviews and won the ILA Book Award! You can read more reviews here.
Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes
The adventure of a small, blind orphan ... who also happens to be the greatest thief who ever lived!
Peter Nimble was an ABA New Voices pick, an Indie Next List Selection, and Bookpage magazine Best Book of the year! It won the Paterson Poetry Prize, The Diamond Willow Award, and an MYRCA Honor. It was shortlisted for: the Monica Hughes Award, the Sequoyah Award, Massachusetts Children’s Book Award, The Blue Hen Literary Award, and the Canadian Children’s Book Award.
The long-awaited followup to Peter Nimble! It’s been two years since Peter Nimble and Sir Tode rescued the kingdom of HazelPort. In that time, they have traveled far and wide in search of adventure. Now they have been summoned by Professor Cake for a new mission: To find a twelve-year-old bookmender named Sophie Quire. Sophie knows little beyond the four walls of her father’s bookshop, where she repairs old books and dreams of escaping the confines of her dull life. But when a strange boy and his talking cat/horse companion show up with a rare and mysterious book, she finds herself pulled into an adventure beyond anything she has ever read.