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Liesl & Po


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A delightful, scary and magical novel for children aged 8-12 from bestselling author Lauren Oliver.

About the Author

Lauren Oliver was previously an editorial assistant at a publishing house in New York. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the MFA program at New York University, she is now a full-time writer and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver brings much-needed magic to an increasingly neglected age group . . . there are some exquisitely drawn characters . . . it's books like this, with its classic quest plot, intertwined with lyrical metaphysics, that can set a child up for life.' - Seven, Sunday Telegraph Books for ChristmasA gorgeous story--timeless and magical . . . For me, this book was like a ride in a sleeping car on a fabulous train, one with deep, plush upholstery, shining brass window latches, and secret compartments, one where the bed slides out soundlessly and the sheets are not too new but not too old, and where small amazing cakes arrive regularly on lacquered trays while the night rushes by outside, the moon always visible. - Rebecca Stead, Newbery winner for When You Reach MeAn absolute delight . . . The story is packed with mystery, murder, adventure, humour and magic, but above all it is a beautiful evocation of loss, tempered by the gradual blossoming of friendship, trust and hope. Although aimed at younger readers, the lightness of touch and the tenderness of the message could make grown men weep. - Daily MailA wonderfully imaginative, startlingly moving and at times wickedly funny fantasy... By alternating quietly lyrical, philosophical passages with laugh-out-loud broad comedy/farce, the author takes her readers on a fan

The sun has not shined for 1,728 days and counting in YA author Oliver's (Delirium) first book for middle-grade readers, a gloominess that underscores a plot in which adults seek personal gain at the expense of children. Classic fairy tale elements weave throughout this spirited, old-fashioned adventure: a young girl locked in an attic, a wicked stepmother, an alchemist, an orphan boy running from a cruel master. Add two nearly identical boxes-one containing the ashes of 11-year-old Liesl's recently deceased father, the other holding "the Most Powerful Magic in the World"-and mix them up, and excitement begins to break through the bleakness. Po, a presence from "the Other Side," brings Liesl a message to bury her father's ashes underneath a certain willow tree, inspiring her to escape her imprisonment in her stepmother's attic and head for the train. An exhilarating chase ensues, as characters pursue the runaway children and the mixed-up boxes. Invigorating and hopeful, this novel testifies to the power of friendship and generosity to conquer greed and depression. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gr 5-8-Liesl's father has died, and she has been locked in an attic by her cruel stepmother. To the attic comes Po, a ghost whose memory of whether it was a boy or a girl has faded in its time in the world beyond. Po meets Liesl's father on the Other Side and carries a message back: he would like his ashes to be buried next to his first wife so that he can move on. In the same town on one fateful night, the apothecary's apprentice, Will, has two errands. The first is to deliver a box containing magic that the apothecary has conjured at the commission of the powerful the Lady Premiere, magic the apothecary claims will bring the dead back to life. The second is to stop by the undertaker's for some magical ingredients. Unwittingly, Will swaps the box of magic with the one containing the ashes of Liesl's father. When the mix-up is discovered, he flees the wrath of the apothecary and the Lady Premiere. Meanwhile, with Po's help, Liesl finds an opportunity to escape the attic and her stepmother. Their paths and destinies converge in an entirely satisfying way, and the plot gains forward momentum through chance encounters and lives crossing paths. This fantasy is written with the gentle simplicity of a fable infused with a storyteller's wisdom. Acedera's black-and-white charcoal illustrations are soft, warm, and somewhat old-fashioned, adding a great deal to the charm and emotion of the story. This is a case in which the illustrations truly enhance the book and make it something more special than it otherwise would have been. A lovely tale.-Tim Wadham, Children's Literature Consultant, Fenton, MO (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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