Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Liesl & Po” as Want to Read:
Liesl & Po
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Liesl & Po

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  9,541 ratings  ·  1,734 reviews
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 sw

Hardcover, 313 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by HarperCollins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Liesl & Po, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Dottie Ramsey There are a few scenes that are not necessarily scary, but are a lot darker. A lot of the storyline will most likely be lost on young children as well…moreThere are a few scenes that are not necessarily scary, but are a lot darker. A lot of the storyline will most likely be lost on young children as well. I’d recommend you pick another book. This book is good for 11 and older (less)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Only you can answer that question. You might hate a book I love, and vice versa. Read the blurb, read the reviews. Check it out of the library if you …moreOnly you can answer that question. You might hate a book I love, and vice versa. Read the blurb, read the reviews. Check it out of the library if you don't want to buy it.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,541 ratings  ·  1,734 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Liesl & Po
Wendy Darling
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of children's classics, Harry Potter, and Catherynne M. Valente
Every once in awhile, a children's book comes along that whisks you away to another world--and if you're very lucky, at the end of the story, it's one that also illuminates your own. Liesl & Po extends a delightful invitation to wizardry and adventure, but it’s also a gentle and poignant rumination on love and loss.

Liesl has been locked away in her stepmother’s attic for a very long time, ever since her beloved father got sick. One night, a pensive ghost named Po appears in her room and lifts th
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A truly magical story! Liesl & Po will open your heart and make you reminisce on your childhood days when you believed in magic and when anything was possible.

The first thing I noticed and fell in love with in this book was the wonderful illustrations inside it's pages:

Also, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found under the dust jacket:

These added greatly to the imagination and increased the charm of the story immensely. I loved the way the characters were defined in the images. They were exa
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nataliya by: Jim
It's a lovely and touching children's book so lovingly described by Jim.

But alas, I think I'm a bit too old and cynical for it to affect me the way I hoped it would. Which is my fault, not the book's, really.
"On the third night after the day her father died, Liesl saw the ghost."
This is the story of an 11-year-old Liesl, an orphan, who has been locked up in the attic by her evil stepmother (by the way, why are all fairy-tale stepmothers uniformly evil and ugly?). She meets Po, a ghost, an "it"
Emily May
Oct 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2011, childrens

I originally gave this 4 stars but changed it after I did some thinking. I definitely wanted this book to be at least 4 stars and even convinced myself at certain points that it was far better than I actually found it to be.

I have nothing against children's books - and I do actually mean children's, not young adult - I think they can be just as powerful and moving as any adult novel, if not more so. There are all kinds of factors that can make these younger novels so appealing: interesting c
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you don't have this on your to read list, put in not there right now.

Ahem. Come around, everyone, and join me and my cat in this amazing review of a truly amazing book.

[image error]
Such a peaceful cat and me.

I know that I don't write many five-star reviews, or even give out many five-star ratings in general, which I why I waited a solid day to let my feelings germinate about whether or not that this book truly deserved such high praise from me.

And I can honestly one-hunde
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Catie by: Jim
I read Delirium and it really wasn't for me. I didn't like the premise, the romance, the characters, the story or the writing style. So understandably, I've been avoiding Lauren Oliver's books ever since.

But then there's this one: middle grade fantasy + magic + ghosts + illustrated novel + everyone's raving about it + some sort of talking pet (?? I hear) = sounds like Catie candy.

And yet, I was hesitant. UNTIL...Jim challenged me to read this IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE. Just how much does overall wr
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
If I had to choose one word to describe Liesl and Po, that word would be “ADORABLE”. If I could choose two words, they would be “ineffably adorable”.

I sincerely wish that I would have chosen to read this before I read Delirium. I honestly think I could have enjoyed the writing style in Delirium more had I known what Oliver was capable of.

Somehow Ms. Oliver has managed to capture a special magic, while not the same as “Potter” magic, it is still quite addicting and mesmerizing. I have heard a co
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids of all ages
Recommended to Jim by: Wendy Darling
This was my first read of a Lauren Oliver book. It was obvious after the first few pages that it was extremely well written, and that there was a special - one might say ineffable - quality about the writing.

All of the great books have a special quality in their prose. But there was something about this one that just radiated warmth. The phrases and pages had a symphonic quality as they wound around my head - a sort of perfection of timing and tone, of musical phrases moving separately and then
Steph Sinclair
Coincidences; mix-ups; harmless mistakes and switches. And so a story is born.

I usually do not read children's books, but when my good friend, Wendy, told me about it, I knew I couldn't resist. And I'm so glad I didn't. This book has that unputdownable quality to it. Lauren Oliver, this is the kind of magic that I fell in love with when I read Before I Fall.

Liesl is a young girl locked in an attic by her evil stepmother. It has been almost a year since she left the attic, let alone s
Richard Cardenas
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-favorites
****Re-read in December 2019!

Loved it even more the third time around. This is such a special book to me and it's a perfect winter read. :)




Now that was entertaining!

It is easily one of the BEST books I’ve ever read and has now become one of my favorites of all time!

This was such a cozy and magical read. I wish I had read it in the fall or winter. It would’ve fit perfectly with either of those seasons.

The first thing I have to mention is that this
Sep 15, 2011 rated it liked it
“Coincidences; mix-ups; harmless mistakes and switches. And so a story is born.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Loved the story, loved the characters but I wasn’t a fan of the style.

High Points.
Liesl. Po. Bundle. Will. Magic. The Other Side. The Living Side. Hats. Big ears. Trains. Alchemy. Attics. Accidents. Sketches. Illustrations. Ineffable.

Low Points.
This I the first book written by Ms Oliver that I’ve read and, I have to admit, that I was warned against her.
Notnotnot because Ms Oliver is
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Supernatural Children's Literature!
Recommended to Ronyell by: Brenda
“A Tale about a mix-up that changes several characters’ lives forever!”


For many years now, I have been reading the “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling and I really enjoyed every single one of them! Now, I have found this quite unusual book (thanks to my friends!) called “Liesl and Po” by Lauren Oliver along with illustrations by Kei Acedera and boy, was it an enjoyable ride that I would not mind reading about again!

The story starts off with a young orphaned girl named Liesl being able to s
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of fairy tales and children's stories with deeper meanings
Recommended to Shannon by: Wendy Darling
This is a lovely book recommended to me by Wendy Darling - go read her review for a much more in depth look into this book. I had never read Lauren Oliver's work before, but now I definitely want to seek her other books out. The story is one that reminds me a great deal of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, a book that I also enjoyed immensely, so if you liked Liesl and Po and want something similar to read I urge you to check out Valente's book.

Before I got to t
Rebecca McNutt
Liesl & Po is a really amazing and beautiful story. It was like Coraline and The Black Cauldron fused together with its gothic writing, its portrayal of ghosts and spirits, and its charming elements of magic and friendship. Each of the characters has faced hardships in life and are very lonely, but together they find something special, a companionship that gives them a reason to be happy. When Will, who works for a cranky and cruel alchemist, makes a mistake in a delivery, the resulting magic br ...more
I must surrender my breath as it is threatening to choke me with all that this book put me through. Lauren Oliver's Liesl and Po is a beautiful, painfully moving declaration of love, loss, yearning, despair and discovery.

It is about a sad and lonely but hopeful and pretty little girl called Liesl who, with the help of her ghost friends boy-or-girl-but-most-likely-boy, Po and cat-or-dog-but-most-likely-dog, Bundle and young-but-poor-and-recently-homeless-former-apprentice, Will, sets out to lay
Conor McHugh
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: honour-shelf
Oh I wish this could have been a book I had read as a child.
Brilliant, magical and inspiring.

Lauren Oliver is one of the only authors in which I truly love each and every one of her books. (Alongside J.K Rowling). Delirium, the first book I read by her, was brilliant. Before I fall, the second, amazing. Liesl and Po, no different.
I can imagine this story being purchased by Disney, or Pixar, at any moment.

The book itself (the hardcover version) Is also the most beautiful book I have on my bookshe
First Second Books
I loved how much food was in this story!

(This book is in no way a story about food. It's a story about being orphaned and magic accidentally taking over the world and attempted murder and all sorts of other exciting terribleness.)

And yet -- it's a story about soup and hot chocolate and potatoes and everyones' lives are all surrounded by deliciousness.
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
From the moment you read the authors introduction which explains what inspired her to write this book - you find that the book is more than just another story, another project. It's a very big part of the author - it represents the passing of a best friend - it's personal. As the author mentions. LIESL & PO is the most personal book she has ever written. You flip to the first page with your eyes a little more wide open, aware, and even a little heavy hearted. Yet the world you discover beneath ...more
3.5 stars. I enjoyed an awful lot about this book. I was looking for a light, magical read. This one was pretty heavy; it explores grief and what life is like on the Other Side, and for those stuck on earth. I thought it was interesting, her take on gender, emotions and even pets for those who have crossed. Her writing is very smooth and easy to become absorbed in.

The author was apparently grieving her best friend when she wrote this, and didn't intend for it to be published while writing it.

Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Really lovely to read a middle grade book by Lauren Oliver, the author's note at the end did a lot to enhance the story. With a great mix of characters and themes, I'm pleased my local library had this to offer!
Kayla Rayne
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
“If you do not believe that hearts can bloom suddenly bigger, and that love can open like a flower out of even the hardest places, then I am afraid that for you the road will be long and brown and barren, and you will have trouble finding the light. But if you do believe, then you already know all about magic.”

This is a magical middle grade novel featuring multiple points of view. There are three main characters of importance, but we see some scenes through the view point of others. Though a go
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
so. cute.

I recieved an ARC from a teen library group that I'm on. :D

So, first things first: I have wanted an ARC forever. I have always dreamed of it, wanted to see the typos and unfinished artwork, wanted to be one of those people who gets to see the story first. And finally, I got one.

I'd hoped that it would be amazing. But I promised myself, even if the story stunk, I would still keep it on my bookshelf. It would be an ARC, mine, something to be proud of. The truth is that I had nothing to w
Jay G
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel:

After the death of her father, Liesl has been locked into the attic of her house by her step-mother Augusta. One night a young ghost named Po and his animal companion, Bundle, appear in her room from The Other Side. A young boy named Will is working as an apprentice for a powerful Alchemist and is told to deliver the most powerful magic in the world to The Lady Premiere that same night.
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was immediately captivated by the cover of Liesl and Po. This was a magical book, a new fairy tale, a story with both great darkness and wondrous possibility. And then I started reading...and Oliver's text was exactly what the cover promised.

The story begins in a world without sunshine. Liesl is locked in the attic by her stepmother and her father is recently deceased. Po and Bundle are dark ghosts who are attracted to Liesl's drawings and Will is an orphaned alchemist's apprentice who is attr
I've been waiting forever and then some to get my hands on this book and let me tell you - the wait has been well worth it.

One of the most delightful and charming stories I've had the pleasure of reading in recent times! Pitch perfect in every way. I was shocked to see that Oliver, who also wrote the insipid "Delirium", can deliver such an outstanding book!

Oliver's writing was, at least for me, one of the highlights of this book. Mildly reminiscent of Enid Blyton, it was extremely endearing. TH
Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bea-2011
Ahhh I am so charmed by Liesl and Po!

I was first delighted by the fairy tale storytelling of Plain Kate by Erin Bow, which I found excellent; Liesl and Po is a book worthy of the same praises.

Liesl, Po, and Bundle are a quirky trio who are on an adventure together. Pair that with alternating chapters where we meet Will, and you'll be reading long into the night with a huge smile on your face.

This is a perfect read-aloud for a classroom or family, particularly because of its middle grade classifi
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I’m convinced that as an author Lauren Oliver can do no wrong. 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.

Read the rest of my review here
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade, own
This ia a very charming book, though a total departure from BEFORE I FALL (which I also loved). In this old-fashioned tale of orphans, ghosts, and runaway apprentices, a little girl and her new friends go on a strange adventure which is by turns humorous, tense, and poignant. Such a good book! And it's illustrated, too. I read the Advanced Readers' Copy, so the art wasn't final, but it still looked fun, and I can't wait to get a real copy!
Charissa Sophia de la Rosa
Lauren Oliver did a really great job in her second book. It just spells A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Plot Summary:
Liesl is just an ordinary girl that was locked by her stepmother to the attic. She was alone and lonely, with no friends to talk with. After her father’s death; Po, a ghost from the ‘Other Side’ with its pet, Bundle visited her. Liesl and Po found happiness and comfort with each other for they were like the other- alone, lonely with no friends.
Will is an alchemist’s apprentice that always goes
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who is still a child at heart
Recommended to Michelle by: Wendy Darling
As Wendy Darling said best in her review of this gorgeous book; a good children's book will not only entertain you, but illuminate your life. It was Wendy's review which made me decide to read Liesl and Po and I am so glad I did.

Liesl and Po is the story of a girl and a ghost. Well, at first it appears to be; however, it is so much more. This is not just Liesl’s story. It reminds me a little of a TV drama; all the characters are imperative to the show, but there is one that holds them all toget
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
All the Books!: This topic has been closed to new comments. Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver → Start Date: November 21st, 2016 13 6 Dec 01, 2016 09:27PM  
All About YA : Liesl & Po 5 16 Oct 06, 2014 12:31PM  
Wild Things: YA G...: May 2013 Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver 6 23 May 25, 2013 02:16PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ghost Hawk
  • The Black Reckoning (The Books of Beginning, #3)
  • The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Stoneheart (Stoneheart trilogy, #1)
  • Arthur and the Invisibles
  • The Fire Chronicle (The Books of Beginning, #2)
  • Moon Bath: Bathing Rituals and Recipes for Relaxation and Vitality
  • The Georges and the Jewels (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #1)
  • Yesterday, Today & Forever
  • A Christmas to Remember
  • The Barefoot Mailman
  • Disney's One, Two, Pooh's Looking for You
  • Thumper's Furry Friends (Disney Bunnies)
  • North of Nowhere
  • The Doldrums (The Doldrums #1)
  • The Boy Who Went Magic
  • The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere, #1)
See similar books…
Lauren Oliver is the cofounder of media and content development company Glasstown Entertainment, where she serves as the president of production. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica ...more

Related Articles

The young adult author grants a mean girl a chance to redeem herself in Before I Fall, a poignant look at the complex inner lives of teen bullies...
41 likes · 12 comments
“She liked the word ineffable because it meant a feeling so big or vast that it could not be expressed in words.

And yet, because it could not be expressed in words, people had invented a word to express it, and that made Liesl feel hopeful, somehow.”
“(I)f you do not believe that hearts can bloom suddenly bigger, and that love can open like a flower out of even the hardest places, then I am afraid that for you the road will be long and brown and barren, and you will have trouble finding the light.
But if you do believe, then you already know all about magic.”
More quotes…