Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

 

Reviewer: Rebekah

Title:  The Book Thief
Author:  Markus Zusak
Source: Library
Pages: 550 Pages
Genre: YA Fiction/ Historical Fiction/ Experimental
Publication Date: March 14, 2006
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5/5

 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.

This might just be one of my new favorite books, ever.

It took me a while to finish it. I think most people (or at least the people who are on Goodreads) couldn’t finish it quickly either because it’s not a quick read. It’s heavy.

The main character, Liesel, isn’t your average girl. She’s poor and alone, but she’s also tougher than she looks. It’s hard not to feel what she feels. Her misfit friends and family are some of the best characters I’ve read in a while. Who couldn’t love the boy with lemon hair? Or the gentle, accordion-playing Papa?

Her love and fear of words and books drives the story. You see power and destruction, love and hate, death and life. All by words.

I should also talk about the narrator, huh? I don’t want to give anything away, but if you pick up this book and start to read…it’s probably not going to be what you expect at first. But keep reading, because the narrator keeps an open perspective. You learn about Life through Death.

Like I said, it’s a heavy book. But it is also beautiful. You can’t go into a book set during Holocaust time during Germany expecting happy endings all around. But you’ll gain much more, I think.

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