Monday, June 25, 2012

Two magical elementary fiction titles

1. Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver (2011). Summary-A mix-up involving the greatest magic in the world has tremendous consequences for Liesl, an orphan who has been locked in an  attic, Will, an alchemist's runaway apprentice, and Po, a ghost, as they are pursued by friend and foe while making an important journey.  This is a beautiful-crafted magical story, one that has the makings of a new fairy tale mixed with such wonderful characters of good and evil. Groovy Girl and I read this together at bedtime and were entranced by the story Oliver weaves.  One of our favorite "smaller" characters is Mo a guard for Lady Premiere:

The guard's name was Mo, short for Molasses, as in slow as molasses or thick as molasses.  The nickname had been his since he was so young he no longer remembered what his real name was.  And it was true that from his earliest infancy, although his heart was big and as warm and as generous as an open hand, his brain had seemed just a tiny bit small. (59)

He's a lovely character who gets involved  just because he feels poor Will needs a hat!  A true kind heart Mo does possess.  This is a timeless tale for everyone!  Oliver did leave us hanging on just one story thread; what happened to Mo's sister...? Click this link for a book trailer.

2. The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby (2010).  As mysterious circumstances bring Giuseppe, Frederick, and Hannah together, their lives soon interlock like the turning gears in a clock and they realize that each holds a key to solving the others' mysteries.

This one came to our library from a Scholastic order and it's been on my mental to-read list all year.  Like Liesl and Po the character's lives are perfectly intertwined as they meet through twists of fate.  I was reminded of Oliver Twist as Giuseppe tries to find his place in a gang of mean street thugs.  He plays his violin for money to turn over to the leader, Stephano:
Giuseppe tapped the pipe against his leg.  This was bad.  The kid would get a beating for sure, and a severe one.  Stephano liked to break them early and hard.  Giuseppe swore and dug into his pockets.
"Here." He pulled out some of his own money.  "Take this.  It's seventy cents."
Pietro sagged with relief and looked like he was going to cry again.
Giuseppe scratched his head.  "You still don't have much.  You might not get supper, but trust me, that's better than the rat cellar." (10)

This will be a great recommendation for both boys and girls when we start back to school.  SLJ's review.
If you are searching for a great book to read with your kids this summer~try either one of these and you won't be disappointed!


Golden Eagle said...

These sound like great books! I didn't know Lauren Oliver had written anything MG.

Janssen said...

I need to read these both! I've had a copy of L&P for a long time, but haven't gotten around to it. NOW I will :)