Friday, June 27, 2008

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
ISBN: 9780375842207
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf/2006
Pages: 550

This book is pegged as YA book. It is a Printz Award winner for 2006. A much talked about book in the blogging world.

The story has been told from the perspective of death. I found it very interesting. By the end of it, I changed my mind about death.

This book has been set in Nazi Germany in 1939. And it spans 4 years. A 9 year old girl, Liesel Meminger along with her 6 year old brother is being taken by her mother to be given for fostering. Her brother dies and in the graveyard, Liesel finds a book, The Grave Digger's Manual, buried in the snow. She picks it up. This is beginning of a book thief. Her foster father, Hans Hubbermann, although not very educated teaches her to read. Her foster mother Rosa, is aways abusing people. Liesel loves her foster father, she also comes to love her foster mother who despite her foul mouth has abundance of love to give.

Liesel develops a lasting friendship with a boy named Rudy Steiner. Hans and Rosa hide a Nazi in their home and Liesel is part of the secret. She comes to like the hidden man and he reciprocates it. And her stealing of books goes on, no matter what.

This book is meant to be read by all. It tells us about atrocities of the Nazis. Yet it tells us about hope, faith, belief in good people. Those who risked their own lives to save another. Those who are poor yet do not think twice about feeding another mouth. It speaks about those German people who were in no way responsible for the Holocaust. In fact they abhored it but had no say in the matter.

In no way this is a depressing book. The local people reach out to us, entering our hearts. Hitler destroyed his own country, own people along with the Jews. At the end of it, I came to love death, the narrator. Death has more compassion, more humanity than we humans.


Mel u said...

I loved "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. By the end of the book I also felt sympathy for the character Death who narrates the novel. it is a great study of how reading transforms lives, for better and worse. It is written about a place and time of great evil but the book some how keeps that in the back ground. I have looked at the book from the point of View of the Reading Life and