The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Pages: 550
Rating: 5/5

Full/Original post can be found Here.

The Book Thief is the story of a young girl, Liesel, in Nazi Germany told through Death’s narration. Yes, Death personified. Death becomes interested in Liesel’s story when he comes to pick up her brother after he dies; Death, against his better judgment, goes to the funeral and sees little Liesel picking up a book from the snow—her first act of book thievery. Shortly after Liesel’s brother dies, her mother moves her to a foster home on Himmel Street where her world is quickly turned upside down. Her world and everyone else’s. (While I don’t think I can possibly cut this short, I will not give spoilers).

Liesel’s new living situation is not easy. Her new Mama is slightly abusive and walks all over her and her new Papa. Papa, though, takes Liesel under his wing as he comforts her during her nightmares and teaches her to read her stolen book. Liesel also finds sanctuary when chumming around with her new friend Rudy as well as in the mayor’s wife’s library where she retreats after she delivers and picks up the laundry for Mama.

But everything changes when one day a strange man shows up at the house looking for Liesel’s Papa. Max is a Jew. He has left his family, gone into hiding, and is barely surviving. Papa has made a promise to help Max, so it is agreed that Max can live in the basement. At first Liesel is a little frightened of Max, but soon they grow to be good friends—especially when Liesel realizes that Max also has nightmares. But, keeping a Jew in the basement is dangerous. Just as giving bread to Jews as they march to the concentration camp, as Papa does, is dangerous. Everything in Nazi Germany has its consequences.