Sunday, January 22, 2012

Liesl & Po - Lauren Oliver

Liesl & Po – Lauren Oliver
Illustrated by Kei Acedera
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Pages:  320
Genre:  Middle Grade, Fantasy

I have always loved ghost stories.  It never mattered if they were funny or scary.  This was a great ghost story.  This was one of those ghost stories that was full of evil people and ghosts who reach out and touch your heart.  Liesl has recently lost her father.  She misses him terribly.  Her step-mother has kept her locked in the attic for months slowly starving her while her very own daughter has been forced to play the role of Liesl. 

Will was an orphan adopted by an alchemist to be his apprentice.  The alchemist has no desire to teach him how to create magic.  His desire is to use the boy to run errands.  He too has little to eat, his clothes are too big for him and he has never heard a kind word.  Will runs errands each night for the alchemist and takes a route that allows him to gaze at a young girl in an attic.  He is worried because her light has not been on in her room for several days.  He dreams of them becoming friends.  He’s never had a friend.  On this night he has to make a delivery of a box of magic to an important lady, then he must  go to the grey mans” place to pick up some items for the alchemist.  The grey man disposes of bodies.  On this night he has sitting on his bench in a jewelry box the ashes of Liesl’s father.  Will arrives and gives the grey man his list.  The warmth from  the fire lulls him to sleep.  When he leaves he mistakenly picks up the wrong box.  From here things get interesting.

Liesl is suddenly visited by two ghosts, Po and Bundles.  She becomes friends with them.  In exchange for a picture Po agrees to go back to the other side to look for her father.  He finds him and goes back to tell Liesl of his discovery and that his father just wants to go to the willow tree.  This is where her mother is buried.  This is where her father planned on being buried one day.  Liesl decides she must  find a way to escape the attic and take her father’s ashes to the willow tree.

Because of the mix up Will, Liesl, Po and Bundles cross paths as they find themselves on the run from one kind hearted man and three evil beings.  The author’s note at the end explains how the book came about.  I could relate to her reasons.  It is a story that will touch your heart in so many ways.  The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful. 

This is a great book.  I was excited when I receive an email advertising the opportunity to read this book free until January 31st.  I had seen it listed on several blogs.  The premise made it very appealing.  I have had it on my list for quite some time.  I can’t wait to purchase this for my students so they may enjoy such a wonderful book.  

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