Thursday, May 14, 2015

Teen review: Historical fiction

It is a rare thing to discover a novel so beautifully brutal that it makes you want to photograph every page so that you never forget a word of it, but The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, did just that in 550 pages. Being a work of historical fiction from the point of view of a German girl during the Holocaust, one often expects to read of a bleak life. However, The Book Thief is a strangely hopeful novel, which makes it all the more tragic.

Liesel Meminger moves to Nazi Germany in 1939 to join a new family after her family experiences difficulties and losses, and in this time discovers books, which quickly become her kryptonite. She encounters kind and hateful people and even recruits a best friend, Rudy. Her new family is full of secrets and they only grow more with Liesel's company. Liesel develops new passions, and follows them until there's nothing left. At a young age, Liesel Meminger and her family face more life then most people will ever know. She steals books and in that steals the reader's hearts.

I believe maturity has more of a role as opposed to reading level, considering the pain expressed in this novel. I know 7th graders who loved this and 30 year old men who adored it. I recommend 7-11th graders to read this book. I personally loved this book, but after discussing with a few others I was told that the narration was a bit confusing, as Death is the narrator. This book is not part of a series, and I give it a 4.5/5 rating. (Only because I'm saving my 5.) I recommend this novel.

Reviewed by LK, grade 9

Editor's note: I hear the movie was good as well! You can check that out, as well as the book, the audio book, and the e-book, from Burbank Public Library!

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