Monday, September 26, 2011

Middle School Monday: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Here is a true story, we hope that many of you read Liesl and Po, not only because it's good, but because I had to talk to scary publishers at BEA and promise that we would tell EVERYONE about it if we liked it (which we did) -- Katie fulfils her part of the deal here:

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
My love for Lauren Oliver is no secret on this blog. Her track record thus far--Before I Fall and Delirium--is impeccable. This is her first foray into writing for a middle grade audience, though. Having sold my... or more accurately, Nico’s soul... for a copy at BEA, I was worried that this book wouldn’t live up to my very high expectations.

I really should learn to worry less.

This (like The Apothecary) is yet another phenomenal book brimming with imagination to welcome in October and all things Fall this year.

We meet Liesl on the heels of the death of her father. She’s locked in the attic by... guess who?... her wicked stepmother, which sets the otherworldly and fairy tale tone of this story. Liesl is very much alone in her attic room until the ghost Po enters her life. Po is able to travel between the worlds of the living and the dead, and instantly a friendship between the two lonely souls is formed. But it isn’t until the alchemist’s apprentice Will mixes up two boxes that really shouldn’t be mixed up that the adventure begins. In a world that has been drained of all color and much joy, it takes a young girl and boy, accompanied by a ghost and his dog/cat to expose evil, overcome those seeking power and wealth, and set the world to right.

As ghosts and such may imply, this is a book that is in part about death. But more importantly, it is a book about coming to terms with death and learning how to live after we lose someone we love. This is a gorgeous read (it reminded me a bit of Roald Dahl’s Matilda)--from the prose to the illustrations. Liesl and Po is a book you’ll want to return to again and again (no matter how old you are), whenever you need to be reminded that there is so much beauty and magic in the world and in books.

For a further look, take a look at this trailer from Harper Collins:

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