Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak

Ed Kennedy is a self-described loser, an illegal cab-driver who spends most of his time playing cards, drinking, and hanging out with his ragtag collection of lost souls (his friends). Then, one day, Ed finds himself in the middle of a bank robbery. He does something heroic which hits the papers. Soon, he's is receiving mysterious cards in the mail, most of which contain addresses. Curious, Ed begins going to the locations on the cards.

At his first house, Ed witnesses something harrowing: a woman is raped and brutalized nightly by her drunken husband while her daughter bears witness. After seeing the pattern, Ed realizes that he is being called on to end the nightmare.

Over time, the cards get closer and closer to home. Ed, a loafer all his life, keeps getting involved in various ways. But who is sending the cards -- and the violent goons who force Ed to follow directions?

Very intense at times, this is a completely unpredictable and thoroughly enjoyable mystery about getting involved in life. The ending is fantastic, but you've got to pay attention!

Bibliotherapeutic value: This is a story about reaching out to others in order to find yourself. A wonderful book about creating the kinds of connections that sustain a person through life.

Zusak, Markus. I Am the Messenger. New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2006.

ISBN: 0375836675. $8.95.

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