The Book Thief

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the coming of age story of a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany during World War II, narrated by Death himself. Although dark and tragic, it is also filled with humor and compassion. It is a story about the power of words both to hurt and to heal, to divide as well as to create community. Death is no sentimental narrator, presenting humans as they are with all their contradictions, capable of both great kindness and great cruelty. The language is almost poetic at times, and there are many scenes and images that will stay with me for a long time. Not a book to be forgotten as soon as it is put down.

Book Description: It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

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