Teen Book Recommendation #9: I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
page count: 360
pub date: 05/09/2006
genre: mystery/realistic fiction
age group: teen
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars*
Why am I recommending this novel?:
Have you ever had that experience where you wouldn’t normally pick up a book, but you have to? (I say as we approach the beginning of the “summer reading season”) I read this for a book club (shout out to PVHS: Cover to Cover). Going into it I wasn’t particularly interested in reading it, and I wasn’t super-thrilled that I had to, but my level of enthusiasm changed quickly as I actually began to read the book.
This book is about Ed Kennedy. He’s 19 and his life is basically going nowhere. He has a job as a cabdriver (even though he is legally too young to drive the cab), he hangs out with his friends, and rooms with the oldest smelliest dog ever. Everyday is pretty much the same and nothing looks like its going to change, until Ed stops a potential bank robbery and is targeted to be the messenger for a mysterious person/group; then the changes come – not just for Ed – but for everyone around him.
You might have heard of Zusak before (he’s the author of The Book Thief). His writing is fantastic. Ed seems like maybe he shouldn’t be a likable character – he’s a slacker extraordinary – and yet, you cannot help but like Ed. Zusak makes, not only Ed come to life, but Ed’s friends, family, and the rest of the people he encounters as he carries out his role as “the messenger”. You will not regret picking this book up!
PS – This book is set in Australia (which doesn’t really mean anything, it just took me a really long time to figure that out….but that’s my own fault really….playing soccer outside in the winter really should have tipped me off).
*a note on my rating system: I go by the rates I use on goodreads.com, which are as follows:
1 star = did not like it
2 stars = it was okay
3 stars = liked it
4 stars = really liked it
5 stars = it was amazing
Anything a 3 or above is worth reading, in my opinion. I’ve read a lot of books that I have given 3 stars to, and I don’t regret any of them.