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  • Published: 28 January 2016
  • ISBN: 9781448196913
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

Anna and the Swallow Man

An extraordinary new wartime story that will captivate readers young and old. Meet Anna. Meet the Swallow Man. And follow their incredible journey together . . .

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

Kraków, 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 . . .

  • Published: 28 January 2016
  • ISBN: 9781448196913
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

About the author

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.

Also by Gavriel Savit

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Praise for Anna and the Swallow Man

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, Times

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'

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.


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


A beautifully written debut

Sunday Express

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

There’s much for adults to love about Gavriel Savit’s beautiful tale

Sun, Fabulous Magazine

The book that brings magic to the 20th century's darkest hour


Savit captures the moods, fears and delightful conversation of this odd couple on their implausible odyssey. It’s a touching tale, both sad and sweet

Mail on Sunday, EVENT magazine - Best New Fiction

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] complex graceful book

Financial Times


Irish Independent

Exquisite debut novel

Wall Street Journal

Like the characters in his debut novel, author Gavriel Savit has harnessed the power of language. He’s a talented wordsmith, wielding words and sentences with a precision that allows them to wriggle deep into this reader’s heart, leaving me both enchanted and brokenhearted.

Sara Grochowski, Publishers Weekly

One of those all ages and no age stories . . . told by a genuine wordsmith . . . And it's a story of generosity in the worst of times. Of friendship and loyalty and yes, of love despite all the horror. We won't forget how it felt to read it. Ever.

Jill Murphy, The Bookbag

A beautiful and stunning read . . . It creeps slowly into your heart just like Morris Gleitzman's Once, and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas did.

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Such an important, painful, beautiful, hopeful read

Bloggers Heart Books

A harsh tale of innocence lost, yet touched with magic.


This is cleverly done and beautifully written tale of loss, hope, survival and trust

Kate Ormand

Savit spins a dark and heart-breaking tale of history and fable seen through the eyes of a child. A thought-provoking read, great for book clubs

South Wales Evening Post, Children's Book of the Week

A complex, gruelling trip through the midnight of the last century

Financial Times - Summer Reading 2016

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