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Her father has passed away and Liesl has been locked in the attic at the hand of her evil stepmother for a long thirteen months. Outside, the sun has stopped shining and has not come out in over a thousand days. When Liesl encounters a friendly ghost named Po, she gets a message from her dead father that sends her on a journey to return his ashes to a special place. Will is an indentured servant, slaving away for the alchemist. He accidentally switches the delivery of a box full of powerful magic with a box that happens to hold Liesl's father's ashes. Liesl and Po meet up with Will and join forces on an extraordinary journey.
Liesl and Po—Book Review
Magical and enchanting, Liesl and Po is equal parts fairy-tale and ghost story. Beautifully written, and with illustrations that are the perfect complement, Liesl and Po tells a tale of generosity conquering greed and of a journey to restore color and vibrance to a cold and gray world. Po and his animal companion, Bundle, are ghosts and come from the "Other Side." There is nothing scary about them, and they are warm and helpful to Liesl. Both Liesl and Will are characters living in oppressive, neglectful, and unpleasant situations. Liesl's father has died prior to the start of the story, and she learns that her stepmother slowly poisoned him to death. Some mildly gruesome imagery is present, mostly in reference to cremation, but nothing terribly frightening or disturbing. Main characters Will and Liesl are often in perilous situations, but triumph in the end, with peace and harmony restored to their lives and the world around them. When everything falls into place, the sun shines again after 1728 days of a gray and lifeless existence, and evil characters get their just desserts. This wholesome story will appeal to both girls and boys, and to reluctant readers as well, and would make an excellent read aloud. The author's powerful and touching message comes through loud and clear--out of the ash, flowers will grow. >Book review trailer from YouTube: