Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl is locked in the attic by her evil stepmother. She is sad because she wasn’t able to see her sick father in the hospital and talk to him before he died. When a boy ghost, Po, comes to visit her, she asks him to find her dead dad and tell him she misses him and say, ”Goodbye.” At the same time the alchemist’s apprentice, Will, has accidentally delivered a box of powerful magic to Liesl’s house instead of her father’s ashes. When Liesl decides to runaway and bury what she thinks is her father’s ashes a chase ensues that throws Will, Po, and Liesl together fighting  against all sorts of nasty people trying to stop them.

The author has nice details so that it is easy to imagine the place and characters. The characters don’t change much from beginning to end and the villians are more like bumbling idiots which makes it less scary for younger kids. The pacing might be slow for some readers because of the lack of tension. The stepmother tries to kill Liesl and the kids are bound up against their will but there is a good adult in the bad bunch that looks out for them. There are not many surprises with the plot and the characters are innocent and naive. The book does look at death and where people go after they die but it isn’t in depth. A good book for an elementary library and an advanced younger reader. The vocabulary is high.

Reading Level 6.5
:-) :-) :-) 3 out of 5 Smileys

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