Sunday, September 2, 2012

Audio Book Review: Liesl & Po

Media Type: Audio Book
Title: Liesl & Po
Author: Lauren Oliver
Narrator: Jim Dale
Publisher: Harper Audio
Format: MP3 Digital Download
Duration: 5 hours and 55 minutes
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Source: Audible
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Intended Reading Group: Middle Grade
Content Screening: Nothing of Note
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HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Young readers looking for a book with a heaping helping of magic!

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.

Narrator Review:
What can I say? It's Jim Dale. To those of you who have had the pleasure of listening to him narrate an audio book before, you know that it's hard not to be put under a spell by his voice. If I had any tiny qualm it might be that Liesl's voice didn't sound very girlish. Then again it still works perfectly with the story. Jim Dale is a master of his art. Plain and simple.

Audio Book Rating: 5/5 - A must listen!

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Book Review:
One of the numerous reasons that I love reading middle grade books is that, quite often, they are the best at weaving stunning stories. Lauren Oliver’s Liesl & Po is no exception! What I found between these pages is a story that readers of any age can fall in love with. Filled with bits of darkness, magic, and so many profound observations, this is a multi-layered book. One of those that you read when you're young, and then read again when you're much older only to discover how much you missed the first time.

This story reminded me almost instantly of the fairy tales that I fell in love with as a child. Each character is beautifully rendered, and it's difficult not to become invested in them. I especially loved Liesl. A shy, quiet girl one second and yet so brave and spitfire at others. Her quest is noble, dangerous, and just a touch on the sad side. Couple her with the brave ghost Po, and his adorable pet Bundle, and you have a trio that is destined for great things.

What I was most impressed by though, was the way that Lauren Oliver so perfectly tailors this book to the audience she wrote it for. There is no talking down to young readers in this book. Instead, they will be swept away in a story that challenges them and lures them along, all at the same time. I wish I could find examples of exactly what I mean, but I never got my hands on a physical copy of the book. I opted to listen to an audio book instead. Still, once you dive into this story I'm sure you'll see what I mean!

Liesl & Po was pure perfection to me. Undoubtedly it will become one of my favorite stories of all time. One that I share with my children when they are old enough to appreciate the beauty of this story. I dare you not to fall in love with Liesl & Po. Truly, I do. Anyone who has ever listened to fairy tales, or dared to dream that magic might be real, will fall in love with this book. I applaud Lauren Oliver for weaving such a wonderful tale! This is definitely one to add to your reading list.

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