Ed Kennedy has nothing going on for him. At the young age of 19, he rents a small place, stayed out of college, and is the youngest cab driver. He doesn’t expect to touch the world in anyway. At least, not until he foils a bank robbery. After being hailed a hero, Ed receives cards that sends him all over the place, to find people in their darkest moments, and find the courage to care for them.
Personal Take: Zusak is a writing genius. I don’t know where to start, but first, he has a way with words. Beautifully written, the book has a way of delivering an emotional impact. The word choices make the sentences more effective, and I keep stopping to marvel at how this or that phrase was written. Then there are the characters; yes, they were bums. But they were so ALIVE. So lovable, and full of character, it was so refreshing. Even the dog had personality! The minor characters that Ed meets along the way had personality, and shone just like any main protagonist.
Ed’s voice was amazing. The descriptions he conveyed, his feelings, his sincerity in what he finds beautiful. It didn’t just feel that he was narrating, but actually conversing with the readers, and telling them what happens. And of course, the mystery resolution itself was weird, but clever at the same time. This book is an amazing journey, and I feel that it does have a message in it. I definitely recommend reading it.
Audience: Older reader or older teens. I’m even reluctant to advise 16 year-olds to read it because some parts can be emotionally shocking (even I had to pause a couple of times). There is violence and mentions of sex; just be warned.
Other recommendations: There is, of course, the wonder book Zusak wrote; The Book Thief, which I highly recommend reading. What I did not know is that there are others besides these two (yes, I’m a bad reader…). So his other published works are: Getting the Girl, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and Underdog.