Liesl & Po

Liesl & Po

Downloadable Audiobook - 2012
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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.
Publisher: [New York] : Listening Library, 2012
ISBN: 9780449015032
0449015033
Characteristics: 1 sound file (5 hr., 54 min., 58 sec.) : digital
Additional Contributors: Dale, Jim
Alternative Title: Liesl and Po

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d
darladoodles
Sep 01, 2017

When I saw this was a nominee for the E.B. White Read Aloud Award, I decided to listen to it on audio. I loved it! It was reminiscent of Roald Dahl's work as well as Kate DiCamillo's "Tale of Despereaux". Such a sweet story, but not sugarcoated and full of cliffhanger moments.

Liesl has been imprisoned in the attic by her evil stepmother after her father's death and is befriended by a ghost, Poe, and its pet, Bundle (Mwak!). There is a delivery mixup of wooden boxes resulting in a a scramble for all the characters to end up at the same red house.

It looks like the print version may have some delightful illustrations, so I will have to get a hold of that edition to see the story illustrated as well. Highly recommended!

l
liaba_nisar
May 15, 2014

Liesl and Po is an absolute treasure among children’s classics. It manages to perfect knit together fantasy with adventure, sprinkled with a bit of tragedy and humor. It’s the kind of book that you want to grow old with and hold dear, and it’s the kind of book that – in my opinion – everyone should read. Including adults.
This novel (by the talented Lauren Oliver) follows the life of Liesl, a young girl who, after her father passes away, is locked away in the attic by her cruel stepmother. Unlike Cinderella, however, Liesl does not have to clean or do any chores. She’s simply condemned to live her life alone, and spends her days looking out the window and dreaming of a better life. This sadness is only made more melancholy by the unusual characteristics of the world she inhabits. There is no light in this world. No sun. It is dark and dry. Plants have stopped growing. There is little to no colour. There is an interesting reason for this, too, however, that is revealed later in the book.
Liesl is soon visited by a ghost named Po. Po comes from the Other Side, and talks to Liesl. He tells her about what life on the Other Side is like. Liesl anxiously asks him questions about her father, and he provides whatever answers he can, in exchange for drawings. They cure each other’s loneliness.
On the same night, Will – an alchemist’s apprentice – makes a dire mistake. During an errand, he accidentally mixes a box with the most important magic in the entire world with a less-than-spectacular substance. With his mentor out for his life, Will runs away, and soon finds Liesl and Po, who have run away from Liesl’s abusive home. The three are wrapped up in an adventure together, as they try to avoid their various tormentors and try to figure out the mystery behind the missing sun and the magic they have in their grasp.
One of the best things about this book is how true it stays to its message about friendship and hope. It’s not outright said, but shown through subtle moments and hints, that you only catch yourself smiling at later. It’s a very dear bond the three of them share, and their various unique characteristics gives them a quirky, melancholy feel.
The entire book feels melancholy, like something out of a dream. The friendship and the wit lights up the dark world it takes place in, and fills the reader with a deep longing for something they can’t quite place.
As usual, Lauren Oliver displays brilliant ability when it comes to storytelling. She’s able to string together events and secrets and create a story that borders on mystery, with little snippets of information hidden away. And when those snippets later reveal themselves, the reader can usually understand immediately how it ties in with earlier information. The realization is a delightful experience, and it shows just how talented Lauren Oliver is.
The characters are extremely fascinating, in different ways. They all have secret pasts, with hidden pain and angst. Will’s quiet and unassuming nature contrasts Po’s sarcasm and sass. And Liesl is there to fuse the tension between the two, with her warm and artistic quality. They all have their own reasons for going on the journey. But it’s what they share – rather than what separates them – that really shows just how close they are, and how unique their bond is. These three resemble a Golden Trio similar to other children’s books, but their quirks and interests make them all the more interesting and relatable.
Liesl and Po is a modern fairytale, the kind of book you want to read on a rainy day. And I recommend it to anyone that’s looking for some hope, or something to keep them going when things get dark.

k
kmlangton
Jun 18, 2013

My 9 year old daughter and I LOVED listening to this story on audio. It is a beautiful tale of friendship and adventure told in a type of fairy-tale fashion.

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