Rave Reviews Log: Historical Fiction

October 24, 2006

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak
Period: Nazi Germany
Rating: 3 3/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

The Book Thief is one of those novels that becomes more and more involving as you read it. The book is narrated by none other than Death itself (which is very confusing in the beginning, but bear with it). We are introduced to Liesel, whose brother dies on the train en route to the foster home near Munich her mother is bringing them to. It is 1939, a time when Hitler was in power, war was upon the world, and Germany was not the best place to be. Liesel is almost 10 years old, can't read, is being abandoned by her mother, and her brother just died. Still, she steals her first book, The Gravedigger's Handbook, when it falls from the pocket of one of the gravediggers at her brother's burial. Soon, Liesel learns to read and becomes enraptured with words. She settles into her new foster home, learning to love her new parents and making new friends. But everything changes when her father starts hiding Max in the basement. Max is a Jew in a time when Jews were being sent to concentration camps and to help one was to invite horrible punishments. Liesel's story becomes one about love, life, books, friendship, doing the right thing and the wrong thing, and most of all, about the power of words. To live in Nazi Germany was not pleasant, and this book does not hide what it was like to be poor and in a country at war without enough food or money to go around. While one could never say it was a happy story, still it is a story of great strength. For those who choose to read it, much will be gotten out of it.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home