Monday, December 10, 2012

Teen Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
554 pages
Historical Fiction
Not part of a series
13 and up
Reviewed by M.K., 12th grade

Throughout history, Death has always been incredibly busy, but no time was busier for Death than during World War II. During his many ventures throughout Europe, though, he kept encountering a nine-year-old German girl named Liesel. Why he's taken such an interest in this girl he cannot say, but one thing's for certain: She's seen enough death for her age. Liesel's parents have been taken to a concentration camp, so she is sent to live with foster parents on a very unique street. She finds it tough adapting to her new environment, but she quickly develops a strong bond with her foster father, Hans, who teaches her to read. Liesel becomes so fascinated by books that she starts a career of stealing them, all while getting to know boys, accordionists, good people, bad people, and a Jewish fistfighter. As the bombs begin to fall, Death tells us the story of Liesel, her strange, quirky neighbors, and her life as the book thief.

The Book Thief has made its way into my heart as one of my all-time favorite novels. It is so beautifully written that I can't help but recommend it to everyone with even the slightest affection towards reading. The story is reminds all who love reading why they fell in love with it in the first place. With small, amazing illustrations, wonderful dialogue, and witty writing, it's almost impossible to ignore this book once you get started. The focal point of Death as the narrator, telling the story from his point of view, is perhaps one of the most unique aspects of a novel I've ever seen and I must praise Zusak and his genius mind for being brave enough to include it.

My rating: 5/5

Alternate covers...

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