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I Am the Messengerby Markus Zusak
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 07:00 PM
Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, Beaverton, OR
This month we meet to discuss I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. Join us!
I've got to hand it to Australian author Markus Zusak: this book single-handedly made me want to be a better person. As a lifelong reader, I feel a book like this, one that can really change people, comes around so rarely that Zusak must be recognized as the innovative and fascinating author he is.
Synopses & Reviews
Meet Ed Kennedy — underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he's hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That's when the first Ace arrives. That's when Ed becomes the messenger....
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?
Winner of the 2003 Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.
"Zusak's characters, styling, and conversations are believably unpretentious, well conceived, and appropriately raw. Together, these key elements fuse into an enigmatically dark, almost film-noir atmosphere..." School Library Journal
"...Zusak succeeds brilliantly." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Funny, engrossing, and suspenseful." KLIATT, Starred
"A touching and intriguing exploration of the need to live one's life significantly, to value the richness knowing one another brings along with its terrible vulnerability." The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, (Starred Review)
"[A] wild ride of a novel..." VOYA
"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and written by Jesse Andrews
U. S. GRAND JURY PRIZE: DRAMATIC and AUDIENCE AWARD: U.S. DRAMATIC winner at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival
Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time—when not playing video games and avoiding Earl’s terrifying brothers— making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are f*@$ing terrible, but he and Earl don’t make them for other people. Until Rachel.
Rachel has leukemia, and Greg’s mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl make her a movie, and Greg must abandon invisibility and make a stand. It’s a hilarious, outrageous, and truthful look at death and high school by a prodigiously talented debut author.
Praise for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
“One need only look at the chapter titles (“Let’s Just Get This Embarrassing Chapter Out of the Way”) to know that this is one funny book.”
–Booklist, starred review
“A frequently hysterical confessional...Debut novelist Andrews succeeds brilliantly in painting a portrait of a kid whose responses to emotional duress are entirely believable and sympathetic, however fiercely he professes his essential crappiness as a human being. Though this novel begs inevitable thematic comparisons to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (2011), it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor and heart.”
–Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“It is sure to be popular with many boys, including reluctant readers, and will not require much selling on the part of the librarian.”
"Mr. Andrews' often hilarious teen dialogue is utterly convincing, and his characters are compelling.Greg's random sense of humor, terrible self-esteem and general lack of self-awareness all ring true. Like many YA authors, Mr. Andrews blends humor and pathos with true skill, but he steers clear of tricky resolutions and overt life lessons, favoring incremental understanding and growth."
Capitol Choices 2013 - Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens
Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - Young Adult Fiction
YALSA 2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
YALSA 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults
YALSA 2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
Markus Zusak is the author of I Am the Messenger, a Printz Honor Book and Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist, and the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which has been translated into over thirty languages and has sold nine million copies around the world. He is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens and lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children.
About the Author
Markus Zusak is the author of Fighting Ruben Wolfe and Getting the Girl. He lives in Sydney, Australia, where he writes, occasionally works in a real job, and plays for a losing soccer team.
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