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24 November 2011

Review: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Ghosts.  Murdered fathers.  The most powerful magic in the universe.  Learning that true friends coming in the oddest of forms.  Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver is a magical story that brings all of these together.

Here is the summary from Goodreads:

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.
That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable.
Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.

Poor Liesl didn't have anyone left that loved her.  Her father mysteriously died after a long sickness (Watch out for the soup!)  Little does she know that her world was about to change even more with the arrival of Po, an androgynous ghost and Will, the alchemist's long-suffering apprentice.

Liesl & Po makes me think that even as small an action may seem to us, it can be the grandest gesture to someone else.  That sometimes what we think is a small kindness means the world to someone who needs that little spark.

I was able to pick up my very own ARC of Liesl & Po in October at my Virginia Reader's Choice Committee meeting.  Someone had suggested that it was a great book for upper elementary students to read.  I have to agree, though I also think its perfectly suited for middle school readers as well. 

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