Friday, November 28, 2008

Getting the message

All right, I am terribly slow on this one. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak received the Printz honor in 2006. I have to shamefully admit that I never really looked into it because of...its cover (ducks). It didn't appeal to me. Happily, I was recently reading plots for audio books and it grabbed me. Also, I had read and loved The Book Thief. Newly motivated, I listened to the whole shebang unabridged and read with a charming Australian accent by Mark Adan Gray. Crazily, I couldn't stop imagining protagonist Ed as a younger and Australian version of Callum Blue, who played Mason on Dead Like Me.

So: Ed is working as an underage taxi driver when he happens to be at the right place to foil an inept bank robber. Tauted as a hero, Ed's life takes a turn for the mysterious when he receives a playing card with addresses of strangers that he is supposed to help. But how? And who sent these tasks his way?

I loved Ed, his shiftless friends, smelly dog and the way he changes people's lives, especially his own. Zusak has created a book that will make you think and make you laugh. Ed is compassionate without being cloying and one's actions can make a difference even in an imperfect world.

This book cemented my high opinion of Zusak's writing. He may be my new favorite author for teens. I know that he has at least two other books that I haven't read. Yeah!

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Guinan 1990?-2009

Griffin ?-2010