Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Teen review: Historical Fiction

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, is a 550-page historical fiction novel that, sadly, is not a part of a series--although I do wish this was not true! As a ninth grader I found that this book was on point both with my reading level and with my mental understanding of World War II.

The book follows Liesel, a young girl who has lost everything: her brother, her mother, and seemingly, her happiness. As she goes through life in World War II-era Germany, she decides to turn to books as both a way to escape and also to learn what she hasn’t been taught during all those years out of school. The most interesting thing about the novel must be, however, the fact that it is told by the all-knowing "Death.”

I absolutely adored this book! With the interjections and side notes that frequent the pages, it’s almost impossible to not enjoy reading it. At points, I couldn’t help but ‘sneak read’: an affliction where you cannot help but read everywhere; in the car, at lunch, in front of the television, etcetera. Even with its pretty heavy storyline, I flew through the 550 pages like it was only 100! I truly wish that it was a series because I would love nothing more than to experience the book for the first time again.

The cover of the book parallels the domino effect that can take form in anyone’s life. Also, since it has been adapted into a screenplay the movie is also a plus! Movie first, book second? Whatever way you read and watch I think you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was. A 5 all the way!

Reading Level: Middle to High School
Reviewed by: C.G., grade 9

Editor's note: We have not only the book and the movie, but also the audio book and the e-book!

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