Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl & Po
Title:  Liesl & Po
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Publish Date:  October 4, 2011

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
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.

My Thoughts:  So, I must be honest here...when I started out with this book, I actually thought of just quitting about 1/4 of the way through and sending it on.  I'm swamped with ARC books right now plus getting my preschool set up plus getting my homeschool set up.  It wasn't really holding my attention all that much so I thought..."aw, what the heck...I'll just send it on".  Then I went to Goodreads and read some of the reviews (which were raving!) and decided I'd keep going.  I am so glad I did!  It was a magical story of hatred and love, enemies and friendship.  I couldn't put it down after I got over my crutch.

Will is a sweet boy.  He is honestly trying his hardest to do what the alchemist wants despite the fact that the alchemist constantly belittles him.  He is fascinated with the "girl in the attic" and detours his errand route just to see her. That is how he makes his dreadful mistake of leaving the "greatest magic in all the universe" with the man that supplies the alchemist and takes the box of a cremated man instead.  When the alchemist and Will take the box to the Lady Premeire all hell breaks loose!

Liesl is the "girl in the attic" that Will is so fascinated with.  She has been locked in the attic by her evil stepmother.  Her father has recently passed away and Liesl is all alone.  Until the one night when she meets Po and Bundle...the ghosts from the Other Side.  Liesl escapes her attic prison with the help of Po and they begin a crazy adventure to lay her father to rest at the willow tree.

I loved how Po was neither boy or girl and both boy and girl.  After spending so long in the Other Side, Po has become an essence instead of a body.  It is a black mass with a slight outline but no real body.  Bundle is also neither dog or cat and both.  In my opinion, Bundle would be the best accidents on the carpet, no food, no training...hmmmm....I think I like it! 

The friendships between Po and Liesl and Will and Liesl are very sweet and I loved watching them develop.  These are two children (and a ghost) that haven't been loved in a long time.  They have been alone for a long time and yet, when they find each other, there are no trust issues.  How nice to be a child again. 

The dark and grey world was very realistic to me.  I could see how everything was drab and grey with no color.  The explanation for this was awesome!

The only thing I didn't really like was why the old woman and the police officer followed Liesl and Will so far.  It just seemed silly that they would follow them off the train and on their journey just because the old woman thought Liesl was "mad in the head".  However, at the end, it was a good thing they were there!

This is a great book to read aloud to your child or your classroom.  It's got a great story, great lessons and fun, exciting story.  I'm very thankful I finished it!


  1. I'm so happy you were honest about your initial reaction to it. I know to keep going.

  2. I'm glad you continued with it! I absolutely loved it. Great review. :)