Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 14, 2006
Pages: 550, Hardcover
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.
I am not going to say much about this book, because I don't think much needs to be said. I think The Book Thief has made quite a name for itself already and with due cause. This book is special, which is evident from the very first page.
Two things really stood out to me while reading The Book Thief - the narration and the writing. The story is narrated by Death, but it's not just Death's perspective alone that is so great, it's how Death tells the story that is truly beautiful. The words that are used, the way they are strung together. The story is not told in a linear manner, but rather jumps around a bit. Everything about the delivery of this story is transcendent and I don't think this book would have quite the impact it has had without these two elements going for it.
The story itself is so many things it's hard to describe. It is so much more than it's broken down pieces that I can describe for you here. It is not just about Nazi Germany, or a girl who discovered the power of words. It is profound. It is multifaceted. It is inspiring. It is condemning. It is love. It is hate. It is humanity.
I highly recommend this book and I hope it leaves a mark on your heart as it did mine.