The Book Thief
By: Markus Zusak
Liesel Meminger and her brother are on their way to Munich to begin their lives with their new foster family. When her brother dies, Liesel discovers a book and on a whim, she takes it. As she learns to adjust to life with Hans and Rosa Hubermann, she befriends her next door neighbor, Rudy Steiner. Hans teaches Liesel the power of words, by teaching her to read and write, which causes her thieving career to thrive. Words combined with a fulfilled promise, changes Liesel’s world forever. Growing up in Nazi Germany is difficult, especially for families who hid Jewish people.
Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak tells a softer side of German families during WWII. The main characters are poor and disagree with Hitler ways of life, which causes a few severe punishments to be doled out, too. The writing style feels more like poetry than literature, due to the abundant details, foreshadowing and Death’s direct dialogue with readers. The book starts out slow and can be quite grim for some readers, but before long the book takes on a life of its own. Readers will feel connected to Liesel, as though they share the same beating heart and they will wish for a few more details at the end. For fans of Young Adult books with deep subject matter, or fans of books set in WWII, this story is a must read, especially for reading groups.
This review was written for My Sister’s Books. To learn more about this bookstore, please visit their website.