Anna and the Swallow Man

Book review by Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Anna and the Swallow Man Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Exquisite tale of Polish girl in WWII shows horrors of war.

Parents say

age 14+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 1 review

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Community Reviews

age 12+

Bittersweet and poetic

I started reading this book knowing that it was for young readers, but I was a little perplexed. It seemed beyond what I would expect would hold a child's interest. I realized then that it's impossible for me to read it as a child would, I can only guess. It reminds me of the experience of a book I read when I was 12, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. My mother gave it to me because she had enjoyed it. She trusted me to absorb the story at my own level. I liked it a lot, but in retrospect I see that it had mature themes, and that the protagonist, much like Anna, was navigating the difficulties of growing up. I did not read The Diary of Anne Frank until much later.
age 18+
As I began this book, I was impressed with the poetic writing. Although the author acknowledged the atrocities of war, he didn't seem eager to dwell on them. As the story progressed, however, I was surprised about the language, violence, and innuendo. The second half of the story helped me decide that this is something I would never encourage my kids to read.

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

For kids who love coming-of-age and World War II books

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