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Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Thursday, August 18, 2011
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.

Goodreads Summary

The cover is very eye-catching, perfect for the age group this book was designed for.  The cover is just the beginning of what is to come in this very good book. 

Liesl doesn't have the best life at all.  She is locked in the attic by her stepmother, her father recently died.  She doesn't get to go outside and she doesn't get to see and feel the sunshine often at all.  However, even in the attic she attracts attention.  Will is an orphaned alchemist's apprentice who sees and likes her face in the attic window.  He will become an important character in the story.  Liesl's only respite is to draw; her drawings gain the attention of Po and Bundle, dark ghosts. 

Liesl's father was cremated upon his death, Liesl holds his ashes dear.  Will accidentally mixes up the alchemist's extremely good potion into Liesl's father's ashes.  Ashamed at his mistake, Will runs away.  Liesl finally decides it is time to bury her father's ashes and takes off to find the perfect place with Po and Bundle accompanying her.  Both Liesl and Will find each other in a lucky fluke, both are on the run. From this point on, the novel takes off.

The characters are very well-developed, the plot is fun to read about and inventive, and the events are fast-paced.  Liesl will appeal to younger girls while Will's character will appeal to younger boys...the plot will appeal to both girls and boys.  Liesl is caring, a little impulsive, and sweet while Will is rougher, very impulsive, and lonely.  The only quality that would make this novel better would be reading the novel in the first person, the novel is told in the third.  This book is recommended to teens/preteens who enjoy fantasy.

4 Stars