Monday, July 9, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Liesl and Po, by Lauren Oliver--plus a giveaway!

Amazingly enough I managed to get organized enough to put together an MMGM this week. So I thought I'd take the chance to feature a book I recently devoured: LIESL & PO, by Lauren Oliver.

Here's how the publisher describes it:

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.

This is yet another one of the books I read while prepping for BEA (I was on a panel with Lauren Oliver), though I'd had it in my TBR pile long before that and just hadn't made my way to it. I'd picked up a copy not long after seeing this trailer, which is one of my favorite book trailers (I love the art--which is also all throughout the book, btw):

And I loved the book just as much as the trailer.

It's a quiet book, a simple story, but beautifully written and full of heart. I'm not often a fan of alternating 3rd person POVs (I have a harder time connecting to the characters when it keeps jumping around) but it actually worked really well for this story, adding more by letting us into the minds of all of the interesting people.

I enjoyed every. single. word. And I'm now very much looking forward to Oliver's next middle grade--THE SPINDLERS--which I was lucky enough to grab an ARC of at ALA. I fully expect I'll be gushing about that one as soon as I've had time to read.

In the meantime, I'd love to share the amazingness of LIESL & PO with one of you, so I'm giving away a copy to one lucky winner. To enter, make sure you leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm PDT on Sunday, July 15th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name next week on Monday, with the MMGM post. International entries welcome!

For more amazing MMGM recommendations, be sure to check out these awesome posts floating around the blogosphere today*:
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!    
 Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!   
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.  
- Erica Haugland gives a shout out to A TALE DARK AND GRIMM. Click HERE to see why its one of her new favorites.   
- Natalie Aguirre is interviewing author Laurisa White Reyes and GIVING AWAY an ARC of THE ROCK OF IVANORE.  Click HERE for all the details.   
- Author Claire Legrand has another entry her awesome series called Middle Grade Memories. Click HERE to see author Nikki Loftin discuss a book she loved growing up--with a GIVEAWAY!  
- Joanne Fritz is back with the MMGM gang with features on CHAINS and FORGE. Click HERE to see why she chose them. 
- Brennan and Meyrick Murphy are ALSO gushing about FORGE. Click HERE to see what these two middle grade readers thought of it.   
- Gabrielle Prendergast has been struck by MY OWN REVOLUTION.  Click HERE to see her feature.   
- Michelle Mason is on a high for THE SECOND LEVEL.  Click HERE to see why she enjoyed it. 
- Gina Carey is having ONE CRAZY SUMMER. Click HERE to see her review. 
- Jennifer Rumberger is featuring CHASING THE STARS. Click HERE to see why she loves it.  
- Jasmine Marie is raving about SO B. Click HERE to read her feature. 
- Andrea Mack is championing MASTERPIECE. Click HERE to learn why she thinks its a perfect title for this book. 
- Michelle Isenhoff has been caught by PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS. Click HERE to see why.   
- Laurisa Reyes has an interview with author Nikki Loftin--plus a GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for details    
- Rosi Hollinbeck has two features for you: TED & ME and GUY LANGMAN, CRIME SCENE PROCRASTINATOR--with a GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for all the details. 
- Ruth Donnelly has two features this week, MISSING ON SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN and BESWITCHED. Click HERE to see her reviews.  
- Dorine White has cheering for THE GODDESS GIRLS--with a GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for all the fun.
- Barbara Watson is sweet on PIE. Click HERE to see why she thinks you'll be too.   
- Chelanne Green is spreading the love for FINALLY. Click HERE to see why.   
- Heidi Grange is feeling SASSY. Click HERE to read her full review. 
-Mrs. Heise joins the MMGM fun with her first feature. And um... it's for KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES (this is very surreal guys. VERY SURREAL.) Click HERE to see what she thought and welcome her to the group!

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so I see it)

NOTE: I used to not have a cut-off time for adding links to the post, but with how insane my schedule is right now, if you don't email me by Sunday evening (usually around 11pm PST is when I put the links together) I can't guarantee I'll have a chance to add you. BUT, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you!

*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen posts ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me ahead of time.


  1. I too loved this book!

    I already own a copy, so don't enter me in the contest, but I just wanted to drop by and say, "me too, me too."

    I thought it was simply written, clever, and full of heart and meaning. Lauren Oliver has quickly become one of my favorite YA/MG authors. :)

  2. I really enjoyed this story! I was so impressed by the writing and the way the characters stayed with me for a while after.

  3. I've been dying to read this book! The cover alone has me drooling, and I've read that it was a somewhat personal novel for Lauren to write. It sounds wonderful!

  4. I loved Liesl and Po, too, and I can't wait for her next MG!

  5. This book looks and sounds amazing! Adding to my to-read list pronto.

  6. I adored this book also but don't have a personal copy so please enter me in the drawing.

  7. I haven't read this one yet - but you've just bumped it way up on my wishlist! The trailer is stunning! :)

  8. I'll be honest... I have not read this book yet. But Lauren Oliver is great! Geez I didn't even know that this is a middle grade book! Thanks for the post and giveaway!

    Alyssa <3

  9. I love Lauren Oliver so I am a little ashamed to admit I haven't read this one yet. Soon! And I picked up a copy of The Spindlers at BEA and I can't wait to crack it open.

  10. I read this from the library and loved it! I'd love to own a copy :)

  11. Oh, this one has been on my to-buy list for years. I'd love to win a copy.

  12. This looks like a really sweet book. Please put my name in the hat. Thanks.

  13. I've heard great things about this book and have been wanting to read it.

  14. I've been trying to get to this book for a long time! I'd LOVE to win a copy. Thanks for doing this, Shannon!

  15. I pulled a A Christmas Story "Ralphie-freezing-up-on-Santa's-lap" moment when my wife called to ask if there was a book I wanted her to order from amazon. Liesl and Po was at the top of my list, but did I say that? No, my mind raced and went blank under the pressure of the moment. Then, like Ralphie, I blurted out a "football" title instead of an "Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!"
    But, I am now prepared. "Liesel and Po" is written in Sharpie marker on the back of my hand.
    In the meantime, please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you.

  16. This book looks and sounds like super fun. Thanks for the review and the contest.

  17. Congrats on your MMGM mention! How exciting! Also, thank you for this giveaway! I enjoyed Lauren Oliver's YA book Delirium, so I was curious about this one too!

  18. I'm a HUGE Lauren Oliver fan. Would love to read this one. :)

  19. I've been on hold at my library for this book for half a year now... I'd love to read it. Thank you for the giveaway! (And I love Mrs Heise's Keeper feature!)

  20. Thanks for entering us in the giveaway contest---mj

  21. Sounds great - sign me up! Thanks, Shannon :)

  22. OOOOH!! You had me at "Lauren Oliver"!! I love love love love her books!!!!!! I hope to get this!

  23. This meme is getting BIG! I can't keep up with all these books! But I'd love to win this one.

    I read Mrs. Heise's review of Keeper. Really looking forward to it, Shannon!

  24. I haven't read this one! :(
    But I'm really looking forward to! Thanks for the chance!

  25. I loved this one. It has such a classical, magical feel - a great read-aloud with my daughter.

  26. This has been on my TBR for awhile. Thanks for the contest!

  27. Just found your site and am enjoying your reviews. Would love to win the giveaway. Thanks.

  28. Loved this book. Great post to share the love! Don't enter me in the draw as I have my own copy. Thanks!

  29. I really want to read this book, I've read amazing reviews :)

  30. I hear so many good things about Lauren Oliver's books. I really need to read some! Thanks for this review.

  31. Malvina BeatriceJuly 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    I really want to read this book so thank you for the giveaway!


  32. I love love love Lauren Oliver. I would love to win this book!

  33. I haven't read this one, but really would like to. The cover is awesome and I really like the trailer. I've heard nothing but good things about this book. Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  34. This looks awesome.... gimmiegimmiegimmie, I say with oh so grabby hands.
    On a more civilized note... absolutely love the website and how the MMGM is growing. Now I just need more time to take it all in. Good Job everyone!

  35. Liesel and Po sounds fantastic. I was mesmerized by the trailer and am so curious about it now! What a beautiful cover. Thanks for giving away a copy of this book. I would love to read it.


  36. This has been on my TBR list for a long time, but I haven't gotten to it. It looks fabulous, though!

  37. What a beautiful book trailer! Thanks for sharing it with us! I've heard such great things about it. Looks like
    I need to move it up my TBR pile!

  38. I loved Lauren's other books, so of course I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  39. I've had this on my to-read list for a while. Thanks for the giveaway!

  40. So many of these books sound fabulous! I'd love a copy of Lauren Oilver's book. Thanks for the Rec Shannon! On a side note, I read Middle Grade Madi's review of your book's opening. I'm now even more excited for it to come out!

  41. I read this one last month and LOVED IT. But then again, I'd read Lauren Oliver's grocery lists if she published them :)

  42. you picked a great author!!! Love the choice!


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.