Liesl And Po Lauren Oliver Book Review

I’m convinced that as an author Lauren Oliver is one of the best of the best. No matter the genre, she is a powerful storyteller. Liesl And Po, a story Oliver says is very close to her heart, is Oliver’s middle grade debut. It is a magical read in which ghosts play a prominent role and titular character Liesl must go on a journey and set her father’s ashes to rights.

Liesl And Po, Lauren Oliver, Book Cover

Liesl And Po

Perhaps I should back up and set the scene and the plot of Liesl And Po by Lauren Oliver for you. Liesl’s father has recently died. An orphan, Liesl lives in the attic of her evil stepmother’s home leading a lonely life with only mice for company. One day a ghost named Po that is neither girl nor boy appears to Liesl. Po has a pet ghost that is neither dog nor cat named Bundle who is my favorite EVER SHOUTOUT ILY BUNDLE ILY! Coinciding with Liesl’s story is that of Will, an orphan who is apprenticed to a wicked alchemist. Will commits a horrible mix up. The two characters and their stories convene in a fantastic manner, as they both embark on a life changing journey.

I want to cuddle the characters of Liesl And Po by Lauren Oliver close to my heart and never let anything bad happen to them EVER. Both Will and Liesl have been through more than a child should endure. Liesl, at least, has a coping mechanism. You see, she bides her time by drawing. Each illustration in Liesl And Po was created by Kei Acedera and is from ‘Liesl’s sketchpad.’ I thought the art was moving and adding kid appeal as well as another dimension to Liesl’s character.

Although I did not sob or anything, I found Liesl And Po by Lauren Oliver to be very moving. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and we just have to do our best to put wrongs to rights. Like Liesl, we may find friends in unexpected places. I think the way the entire plot and elements converge and wrap up is touching and definitely not to be missed.

Disclosure: Received for review at BEA 2011.

Other reviews of Liesl And Po by Lauren Oliver:

Fyrefly’s Book Blog
The Reading Date
YA Bibliophile

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I still have this sitting on my shelf from BEA. #thingsisaytoooften

    It’s not a book I would normally pick up, but given the incredibly positive response it has received, I definitely want to give it a shot.

  2. Wasn’t Bundle just the cutest pile of adorable ever? This was a great book, though. I got a little misty there at the end, especially after I read the little Author’s Note, where Lauren Oliver explains what made her write this book. LO is a must-read for sure!

  3. Me too Melanie!

    I keep picking it up and then putting it down. Maybe this is the year I will finally read it.

  4. I adored this book too and have lots of love for Bundle…and Liesl…and Po…and Will. They were such sweet characters and I was just in the right mood for it when I picked it up.

  5. I’ve only read Before I Fall by Oliver, but I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading Liesl and Po, as well as Delirium!

  6. Lauren Oliver is tops. I auto-buy all her books. This book is very touching and sweet, and Bundle is too cute. Glad you enjoyed it too!

  7. I need to get to this one soon. I have a copy sitting on my shelf, but I’ve been thinking about getting the audiobook since it’s read by one of my favorite voices ever, Jim Dale. Glad to hear it’s a good story! I’ve loved everything else I’ve read by Oliver, so I was excited to see her cross over to MG.

  8. I totally agree with you about Oliver’s talent at story-telling. The more books of hers I read, the more and more she is becoming my favorite author. She can weave a plot like no one else can.

  9. I read the title of this as “Lies! and Po…” lol. I must be really tired.

    I borrowed this one from our school library and still haven’t returned it – how awful is that? I need to sit down and read it SOON!

  10. What a great sounding read! Lauren Oliver is really amazing!

  11. This sounds so wonderful and I agree with you about Lauren Oliver – incredible writer!

  12. Oliver is a wonderful writer and I’ve wanted to read this one forever now. Fingers crossed I get to it this year. It sounds fabulous!

  13. I have heard so many excellent things about Oliver, but Delirium was the first of hers that I read, and I was so-so on it. But you aren’t going to like them all, right? And I have a HUGE soft spot for children’s book of A Little Princess persuasion – this one sounds enchanting. Can’t wait to give it a try – thanks, April!

    • Well, it’s not EXACTLY like a Little Princess, but I can see some similarities. I think you should try more of Lauren Oliver’s books, you may really like Before I Fall and Liesl And Po.

  14. I’m currently reading this! I’m only 2 chapters in, but EVERYONE keeps raving about it. One bookseller I visit regularly asks if I’ve read it yet every time I go to her shop. Can’t wait to have the time to sit and read it!

    Nice review.

  15. I’m reading this right now, my hubs got it for me for Christmas. I thought the illustrations in the book were a nice little surprise (:

  16. Such a pretty cover! And it sounds like an interesting story :]

  17. Becky and April, I listened to the audiobook of this and it was fan freaking tastic! Between Jim Dale’s amazing ability to bring a magical story to life and Lauren Oliver’s beautiful story I just wanted to wrap up in it and cuddle with Bundle all day. I am tempted to track down a physical copy so that I can see the illustrations as well!

  18. I’m totally with you on the Lauren Oliver thing – she is so awesome. I definitely need to get to this one soon!


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