From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places. An E. B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book, it’s perfect for fans of the author’s other middle grade novels: The Spindlers and the Curiosity House series.
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 named Po appears from the darkness.
That same evening, an alchemist's apprentice named Will makes an innocent mistake that has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.
The sun has not shined for 1,728 days and counting in YA author Oliver's (Delirium) first book for middle-grade readers, a gloominess that underscores a plot in which adults seek personal gain at the expense of children. Classic fairy tale elements weave throughout this spirited, old-fashioned adventure: a young girl locked in an attic, a wicked stepmother, an alchemist, an orphan boy running from a cruel master. Add two nearly identical boxes one containing the ashes of 11-year-old Liesl's recently deceased father, the other holding "the Most Powerful Magic in the World" and mix them up, and excitement begins to break through the bleakness. Po, a presence from "the Other Side," brings Liesl a message to bury her father's ashes underneath a certain willow tree, inspiring her to escape her imprisonment in her stepmother's attic and head for the train. An exhilarating chase ensues, as characters pursue the runaway children and the mixed-up boxes. Invigorating and hopeful, this novel testifies to the power of friendship and generosity to conquer greed and depression. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I love this book. I've read it at least three times amazing👌🏽
This is a lovely story about death and wickedness, overpowered by friendship and peace. Please give to your young adult readers. Adult readers will also enjoy it.