“I also fear that nothing really ends at the end. Things just keep going as long as memory can wield its ax, always finding a soft part in your mind to cut through and enter.” – MZ


My great aunt taught me everything I know about playing cards. When I was a kid, we’d sit for hours at her kitchen table and play every version of rummy known to man. I’d sit in my nightshirt, feet swinging, eyes calculating, and hands sticking to her vinyl tablecloth, hoping that somehow I’d miraculously beat her at one hand. My aunt’s mission wasn’t just about teaching me to add up the suits I was left with at the end of the hand – but to learn how to handle the tricky cards before I got into trouble. She said I was too honest for bluffing, so I’d better learn how to protect myself. Especially from “all those jokers out there.” The lady knew a lot – it was never just about the cards.

Markus Zusak’s I Am the Messenger is also a story about messages hidden inside playing cards. Ed Kennedy is an unmotivated and underage cab driver who’s hopelessly in love with his best friend. He has no future, nor do his friends – that is, until he starts receiving mysterious messages from someone that require him to take action. What unfolds is a twisted, beautiful, adventurous, and unforgettable story that you won’t want to put down. Ladies, this is much more than a summer pool read, and guys – this is one that you’ll love for its humor and wit even if you’re not a reader. If nothing else, you’ll certainly feel the heart and maybe even learn a thing or two about how to play your own hand in life. It’s good to be reminded every so often that life really is precious and that those who surround us really are… beautiful. These ‘MZ’ people – they get it.

Gary gives it all four paws, a high five, and a lick.


“Sometimes people are beautiful.

Not in looks.

Not in what they say.

Just in what they are.” – MZ



Honors and Awards:

New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards: Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature (2003)

CBCA – Children’s Book of the Year Award: Older Readers (2003)

Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year for Children (2005

Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book (2006)

Honour Book, Michael L. Printz Award (2006)

Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (2007)