Liesl & Po

Lauren Oliver, Author, Kei Acedera, Illustrator
Lauren Oliver, illus. by Kei Acedera. Harper, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-201451-1
Reviewed on: 08/29/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-209335-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-211119-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-211120-3
Paperback - 1 pages - 978-1-4447-2308-3
Hardcover - 307 pages - 978-1-4447-2307-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-449-01502-5
Paperback - 307 pages - 978-0-06-201452-8
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-1-4447-2310-6
Prebound-Glued - 307 pages - 978-0-606-26853-0
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4447-2309-0
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-1-4447-2311-3
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-06-210739-8
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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.)
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