I had noticed this book from time to time, but I never actually read it until just recently. In my English class, we had to pick a book out of about ten options for our literature group to read and discuss over the next two weeks. When I saw that this was one of the options to pick from, I was excited. It looked like the most interesting choice (also the longest to some of my group’s dismay). Luckily, the rest of the group did agree and we picked The Book Thief.
Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Age Group: 5th grade up to adults
My Rating: 2.5/4 stars
Liesel Meminger’s life was turned around in two days. This girl, who lives in Germany during World War Two, is first changed when her brother dies. By his grave she sees, and then promptly steals, a book: The Grave Digger’s Handbook. The second day, she is changed when her mother, who cannot care for her anymore, leaves Liesel with a new foster family. Liesel begins to settle into her new home and makes a friend: Rudy Steiner. Her new father is also very kind and begins teaching her how to read.
However, war is never kind and times are hard for everyone. Liesel starts stealing books to nourish her want for words.
Life takes another turn when Mama and Papa decide to hide a Jewish man in their basement. It seems that all is continuing as normal, but constant threats are lurking and secrets aren’t always easy to keep.
This book started out with a lot of mystery and intrigue. There were some duller moments about halfway through, but they weren’t discouraging and ended up being balanced by the intensely emotional parts. By the end, I could have sat there and cried, but I was reading it in school so I didn’t. The main reason that I liked this book was the original writing style and the profound creativity that the author seemed to explore throughout the novel.