I didn't know what to expect when I picked up the book, but in the early pages I was blown away. Oskar is nine and in search of a lock for a key he found in his father's closet. His father died in the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001. I loved being inside Oskar's mind! To describe him as precocious would be an understatement and there is something almost autistic about his way of thinking. I loved following Oskar around the streets of New York, while wondering what his Mum was up to, allowing him out on his own. I loved the people he met (all those Mr and Mrs and Miss Blacks). What I didn't love was all the background filler in disjointed letters and messages. As I read the other part of the story about Anna and Thomas and Dresden, it all felt a bit too contrived to me. I know that all those strands do come together in the end, but they were more of a distraction. But overall, this book was amazing.