Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl and Po

"Coincidences; mix-ups; harmless mistakes and switches.  And so a story is born."  Imagine Cinderella with a really, really wicked stepmother and a lonely, yet helpful ghost. 

In Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver, 11- year-old Liesl is confined to a tiny attic bedroom, locked away and totally isolated by her cruel stepmother while her father falls ill and dies.  Her only friends are the shadows and the mice -- until one night two shadows move and speak.

They are Po and its ghost-pet, Bundle, who come from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.

That same cold damp night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, stands on the street outside Liesl's house, hoping she will look down and see him there.  Drawn by the mysterious and pretty little girl, 11-year-old Will is stalling when he has important chores to complete for his master.  But Will bungles his important deliveries and accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing the ashes of Liesl's father. 

Liesl, Po, Bundle, and Will must use their combined talents and wits to escape their pursuers and deliver what they think are Liesl's father's ashes to his resting place.  Danger, darkness, and misunderstanding are at every turn -- will Liesl be able to deliver her father to the place he used to say made him feel ineffable joy?