Junior Advisor's Review
Reviewed by JAB Member Bobby Hanson
What sort of story would Death itself narrate? A story full of
death, you would assume. Though the story of Liesel Meminger does
contain ample amounts of death, it is also a story of friendship,
family, and life lessons.
Liesel is a young orphan, living in Nazi Germany during World War
II. After the disappearance of her parents, Liesel is forced to
move to the ironically name Himmel (which in English, means
"heaven",) the poorest part of Munich. Upon arrival, she is met by
her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubberman, Rosa, an extremely
strict woman, who makes swearing look like an art form, and Hans, a
kind hearted man, both welcome the reluctant Liesel into their
home. In time, Liesel grows to love her foster parents, and her new
life on Himmel Street.
With Germany entrenched in a gargantuan war, Liesel's family
becomes even poorer than they once were. As a result, Liesel
develops a passion for books, as they allow her to disregard the
immense problems of her everyday life. In order to satisfy her
desire for literature, Liesel resorts to stealing books. She
obtains her books from a variety of locations, including the
mayor's library, and the charred remains of a Nazi book burning.
Her antics eventually catch up with her, and unexpectedly changing
her life forever.
Just when conditions seem like they couldn't deteriorate any
further, the War arrives at Liesel's doorstep. Her father, whom she
had grown so attached to, is drafted into the war, and Himmel
Street is barraged almost daily with bombs. Liesel's only
consolation, in her war torn life, lies between the neatly bound
covers of a book. Will Liesel's father return home from? Will her
newly re-patched life be torn apart once more?
The Book Thief was one of the most powerful books I've ever read!
I loved the way the unique fashion in which the author, Markus
Zusak, incorporated quotations, poetry, illustrations and
literature into an amazing story. The characters were described
with such precision; it was if I had known these people my entire
life. I was very impressed by the balance of humorous moments, and
tear-jerking moments, resulting in a well balanced story, with
aspects that are appealing to all readers.
Told with a delicate strength, The Book Thief is a truly
magnificent story about the power young Liesel Meminger finds,
locked deep between the covers of books. An amazingly uniquely
told, and inspiring tale, The Book Thief is a must read!
From the Publisher
A New York Times bestseller for seven years
running that''s soon to be a major motion picture, this Printz
Honor book by the author of I Am the
Messenger is an unforgettable tale about the ability of
books to feed the soul.
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking
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.
The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and
will become busier still.
The Book Thief is a Common Core Exemplar Text.
About the Book
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich during World War II. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist--books--in an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.