It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery….
Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever they are to be found.With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel 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.This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Release Year: 2006
Age Group: YA
I’m not going to lie, one of my favorite novel themes is the Holocaust. I don’t say that with a tone of excitement that you think I have, but because historical fiction just gives me an air of being-there. Feeling like I was there, a way of knowing what happened without watching the gory war films.
The Book Thief is a lovely novel about a young girl who, originally started her journey with her brother and her mama, but mama was only bringing the children to a town where they were supposed to be kept safe while the war continued. The little boy passes away during the trip and at the next station stop the boy was buried and this little girl finds a book; a handbook. Nothing special, except this introduces a whole series of thefts, and as this little girl grows to become a young lady her intensity and desire to want to read and learn more amplifies, which has proved to be difficult when you’re adopted by a low-income German family.
The girl encounters a Jew seeking refuge from her adopted family and he is stowed away in the basement. The young girl and this Jew develop a friendship and we watch as they enjoy each other’s company and he teaches her many a things. At some point he escapes before the Nazis ransack the home, but unfortunately he is later caught and walked through the unforgotten town and the girl spots him worn out and weathered, she tries very hard to save him but it beaten away by the guards.
I would highly recommend this book and it’s a great aide in giving a better understanding in some of the hardships people have faced as you follow the life of a young girl who doesn’t understand the workings of the war and how she finds her own refuge, and helps others around her find it, while reading books in The Book Thief.
Have you read anything like this or have something fiction Holocaust/WW related? Let me know!