Posted by: Staff | 01.25.2010

The Book Thief Review

SARA RADIN ’12

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a teen novel illustrating a four year overview of a German girl’s life during World War II.  This book is told from Death’s point of view, as if Death were a person/spirit whose job is to collect the souls of the dying.  Death tells the story of Liesel Meminger, the young German orphan, starting with the first time Death ever saw her when retrieving the soul of her brother while they were on their journey to stay with a foster family.  After her brother is buried, Liesel finds a book on the ground: The Grave Digger’s Handbook.  She continues on her journey to a town just outside of Munich to live with her foster mother and father, bringing the stolen book with her.  Because she is illiterate, her foster father conducts nightly lessons with her to teach her how to read.  Soon, she begins stealing books from wherever they could be found, including the mayor’s wife’s library and at Nazi book-burnings.

     

The Book Thief was probably one of the most original books I have ever read.  I credit this to the choice of narrator; Zusak personifies death as a character, which makes it sound like a human with senses.  Death has an interesting explanation for how he sees the world: through colors.  Each of the three times he sees Liesel, he notes the color of the sky.  As you read the book, you realize what these three colors mean at the corresponding point in history.  World War II plays a significant role in this book and the deaths embedded in the story.  The symbolism ranged from the colors previously mentioned to the personality of the characters and the connections they make to each other.  I would definitely recommend this book as a leisure read.

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Responses

  1. I read The Book Theif in sixth grade and I loved it!

  2. I especially enjoyed the part about the “Jesse Owens Incident”

  3. This is an amazing book. The most wonderous aspect of this book besidss it’s originality is it’s realness. The book is made up of so many details that you feel strongly for each character as the events happen. Be prepared to cry when you read this book.


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