The Book Thief



TITLE:  The Book Thief

AUTHOR:  Markus Zusak

GENRE:  YA Fiction | Historic Fiction | 20th Century | World War II |


SETTING(S) :  1939. Nazi Germany

SUBJECT: World War II | Nazi Germany | Friendship

MAIN CHARACTERS: Liesel Meminger, Death(Narrator), Rosa Hubermann, Hans Hubermann, Max Vandenburg, and Rudy Steiner

SUMMARY:  It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who 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.

via: Good Reads



I know I could have waited to see what this book was all about by watching the movie.  But I’m one of those folks who prefer to read the book, before watching the movie adaptation.  I had to save this book twice from my local library for me to read this book completely.  If you’re someone who likes page turners this is not the book for you.  It is very long and events in this book go relatively slowly.  This does not mean that this book is not worth reading.  It maybe a better book to “read” as a “recorded book” during a long vacation.  But remember the time period and location that the book’s central subject is based on.  It is suggested that Liesel lives with the Hubermann’s because there is a possibility that it is no longer safe with her biological parents.  So from the start of the book; Liesel’s life is endanger and it does not help that the Hubermann’s son is a Nazi sympathizer and she must enroll in a Nazi program  after school, where children are bullied and taught special skills.

As you learn more about Liesel, the Hubermann and Max Vanderburg’s past you hope that everyone survives this war.  But remember this is Nazi Germany, not only Jews were victims, but the Germans themselves.  Neighbor would go against neighbor, son against father.  If you did anything that suggest that you were anything but a well-respected German citizen & you sympathized with the Nazis the authorities could and would arrest you.  Some events in this book include Nazi soldiers checking houses for possible hidden Jews, air raids and book fires.  The book had some cheerful events like children playing on the streets, Liesel learning how to read and the blossoming friendship between Liesel and Max.  Those few good uplifting events are one of the  reasons you should read this book.  It shows the hope that people had to have especially during WWII.  The simple acts of kindness, friendship and love.  Don’t worry there is a happy ending for some of the characters.