Friday, May 7, 2010

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Released: 2007

The Book Thief is a novel written about a young girl's life during the Holocaust and is geared to an audience of young adults; however I wouldn't look past it if you are an adult.

The Book Thief features Liesel, a teenager who is brought to live with foster parents in Germany during WWII and becomes obsessed with stealing books because they are so scarce to come by. Liesel steals books from a bonfire, from the mayor's wife, and other various places. Stealing books becomes an enjoyable challenge to Liesel and risks her safety to do so. Liesel eventually reads her books to neighboring families in the bomb shelter, and also to a Jewish stowaway who comes to live with Lisel and her foster family. The novel goes into great detail about Liesel's coming-of-age and her transition from childhood into adolescence.

The Book Thief's narration is unique because it is told from Death's point of view. Death does not spare us the ugly details that come hand-in-hand with war, especially concerning the fate of the Jewish people, the dropping of bombs, and violence in general. The character development is phenomenal because we feel as if we are reading about our OWN family. The ending will definitely bring you to tears though, so I highly recommend keeping a box of tissues nearby.

It may take you a little bit of time to become used to the narration style and cadence of the book, but once you start, you'll find it difficult to lose interest.

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