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Book Review

Jan 19, 2012
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‘Liesl & Po’

Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Harriet Leitch

By Lauren Oliver




307 pp

“Liesl & Po” is the newest book from author Lauren Oliver and focuses on Liesl, a young girl who has been locked in an attic by her stepmother. The story opens soon after the death of her father, and the “ghosts” of Po and his pet, Bundle, cross over the divide between the dead and the living to appear to Liesl.

The alchemist’s apprentice, Will, has been admiring Liesl from a street corner during his deliveries. Soon after her father’s death, Will mistakenly picks up the box containing Liesl’s father’s ashes at the undertakers, leaving a box of magic in its place. The major characters soon join forces to let Liesl escape from the attic to journey to her old home, so she can bury her father beside her mother under the willow tree by the pond. Adults determined to gain control of the box of magic and other adults wanting the box containing her father’s ashes make the journey especially difficult. The idea of the parallel sides — the living side, the other side — where Po and Bundle come from, is extremely well done.

Along with the captivating story, the book comes to life thanks to the illustrations by Kei Acedera, who designed the characters for Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” “Liesl & Po” is a fantasy in the best sense of the word and is a perfect read for kids ages 9 to 12-year-olds. CV

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