I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak.
Alfred A. Knopf/Random House: NY, 2005.
Originally The Messenger pub by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited: Australia, 2002.

Ed Kennedy stops a pathetic bank robbery attempt and starts a chain of events that disrupts his mediocre days. Playing cards (aces) are delivered to his door with people to help listed on them. The cards point out people in need of a message, and Ed must figure out the message and deliver it--all of which is normally beyond his limited existence. He does it, because he expects there will be an end to it after the aces are used up. The cards point him towards life, and he changes as he sees more of life through his ordeal.

The question remains through the whole book . . . Who is sending the cards?

It took me a few chapters to get into the book. The introduction of Ed and his friends wasn't attractive, but that relates to the point of the book. Once Ed starts receiving aces, the story picks up, and the reader is hooked. It is one of the better books I've read. Maybe would fit in a top 100 novels. I like that it directs readers to look at others' lives and think about reaching out with their own messages. It also gives a glimpse of how random acts of kindness can build a community. And it doesn't take a saint to fulfill one such act. I also like that Ed's life is enriched by the experience--even when he's getting beat up. It is also a book I stayed up too late to finish!

related-heroes, taxicab drivers, self-esteem, help from strangers, guidance, observation, awareness, acts of kindness

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