Review: I Am The Messenger

Posted: August 30, 2013 in Reviews, Young Adult
Tags: , ,


Author:  Markus Zusak

Paperback,  pages 357

Published in 2002 by Random House

Reader Category:  Young Adult

AR Book Level: 3.9

From the Publisher: Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future.  He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman.  His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail.

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?

My Review:  I picked up this book a few times at the library and read the back cover and put it back down.  After reading The Book Thief and absolutely loving it, I decided to give it a chance.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but from the first page, Zusak had me laughing out loud.  While humor never left the book, the story became increasingly touching.  He has the ability to tell a story that flows so easily that it grabs you and doesn’t let go.  His way with words and how he describes scenes is unlike anything I have read before.

Here are a few examples:

“Our feet dangle.

I watch them, and I watch the jeans on Audrey’s legs.

We only sit there now.

Audrey and me.

And discomfort.

Squeezed in, between us.” p. 120

“There’s a streetlight standing over us, watching.

There’s a breeze, cooling the sweat on my face, and slowly I see my shadow step on Gavin Rose.” p. 170

Ed Kennedy takes the journey of a lifetime and I felt like I was right there with him.  Through his eyes we see the world as it really is.  We see the abused, the lonely, the poor, and realize that simple acts of kindness (or hurt) can make a big impact on people’s lives.

A truly touching story.  One that will stay with me forever.  I am grateful to Markus Zusak for helping me to realize that we all have the potential to be something great, and to use that greatness to help those around us.

For those of you who are looking at the Book Level for your younger readers, be warned.  This is definitely a Young Adult novel, and I wouldn’t recommend it for children.

Related articles:

I Am The Messenger – Markus Zusak (


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