Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Fantasy - Middle Grade - Paranormal
Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the miceuntil 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. ~See it on Goodreads
I do mostly read YA and Adult books, but every now and then I’ll venture back into the middle grade section and come across a new gem and of course Liesl and Po was no exception. This book presents a gentle and poignant depiction of love and loss and it also incorporates a wonderfully magical essence into it. For a middle grade book I think the topic of death/dying was handled in a really great way, it can be a hard thing to cover for younger readers but this was done perfectly. I also thought the writing itself was extremely well done, it never once felt too mature, boring, or cheesy which can sometimes be the case in middle grade books and I’m so glad that wasn’t the case for this book.
Another thing I loved about the book were the drawings that are sprinkled throughout, they’re just simple pencil drawings but I think they add a bit of charm and whimsy to the book.
I adored Po he was most definitely my favorite character, he was very thoughtful and interesting. I do wish I could have learned a bit more about him though. I liked Will a lot too, he is such a sweet and courageous boy. I liked Liesl, although a few times she got a tiny bit bratty with Po and Will, but for the most part she was likable and smart, and she had a bit of spunk to her.
I kind of wish this book had been a bit longer because I loved the world and characters so much. But even though it was a little short, I immensely enjoyed this book. If you’re a fan of middle grade, or just looking for a magical, charming adventure with a lovely message and great characters, Liesl and Po is definitely recommended.
“And this, really, is the story-within-the-story, because if you do not believe that hearts can bloom suddenly bigger, and that love can open like a flower out of even the hardest places, then I am afraid that for you the world will be long and brown and barren, and you will have trouble finding the light. But if you do believe, then you already know all about magic.” ~Liesl and Po