Moments ago, I finished reading Lauren Oliver's book Liesl & Po. It is an engaging story of a young orphan girl, a ghost, a mixed bag of adults, and a box of magic. I loved it! The mystery is uncomplicated and easy for kids to follow, but it kept me involved.
The children of the story, Liesl and Will, are both orphans, both inherently good, and desperately in need of someone to look after them. Po and Bundle are ghosts, trapped on the Other Side, and waiting to go Beyond. Po is grumpy, unsure whether he is a boy or girl, and drawn to life, though he/she won't admit it. Bundle is Po's "pet."
Liesl's father has recently died, and after escaping captivity and her evil stepmother, she sets out with Po, Bundle and Will to deliver her father's ashes to their final resting place. Will's former employer, the alchemist, Liesl's murderous stepmother, a meddling old woman, a police officer, and a kindly simple-minded guard are all in hot pursuit.
The plot line follows the adults' search for the children who they believe have the box of magic. The children are briefly in possession of the box, but think it holds the ashes of Liesl's father. The climax is wonderfully exciting and full of hope and magic. Obviously, magic. There's a fire, a number or arrests, a bunch of ghosts, and the brief appearance of Liesl's late father. It doesn't disappoint.
Liesl & Po is a great adventure story with an engaging cast of characters that you either love or hate. It's the triumph of good over evil. Readers, young and not so young, will love this magical story.
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