Monday, February 26, 2007

A MUST Read Book!

The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak (560 pgs) is labeled as a "Young Adult" book for Grade 9 and Up. But this book is oh so much more than just a YA book. This book touched me more than any book I have read in a very long time and I would recommend it just as easily to adults as I would teens.

The story begins as you are introduced to the Narrator -- Death. At first, I found it a little disconcerting that Death was telling this story. There are lots of breaks from the actual story when Death gives you glimpses into the lives of the characters that normally wouldn't be shown. But I guess if you are going to tell a story of war, then Death would be the perfect narrator. The story takes place in Germany during Hitler's regime. We first meet The Book Thief, a young girl named Liesel Meminger, on a train bound for her new home. Her mother is very poor and cannot provide for Liesel and her brother. The children are going to live with a foster family, but before the train arrives in Munich, Liesel's brother dies. Her first theft is of "The Gravedigger's Handbook". She finds it in the snow at the cemetery and keeps it with her always. Her foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann are not your typical Germans. Rosa is loud and rude, but has a really big heart. Hans, a painter and accordion player, was denied entrance to the Nazi party for painting over disparaging epitaphs for a Jewish friend. His own heart is certainly in the right place and he sees the Nazis for what they truly are. He also took it upon himself to teach Liesel to read. There are many other characters introduced to us in this story. Rudy, the boy next door, has an obsession with Jesse Owens and becomes Liesel's best friend. There is Max, a Jew. He comes into the story because of a long-ago promise made. There is Ilsa, the Mayor's wife, who grieves for the loss of her son.....but has a library that leaves Liesel in awe.

This is a story of innocence and war; politics and anger; hope and friendship. But most of all it is the story of words. It has been a long time since words on a page brought tears to my eyes. But this book did. It is fantastic and I would recommend it to everyone!! 5/5


Also reviewed by:
Kristi @ Passion for the Page

7 comments:

Marg said...

One day I will get to this. I had it out from the library for a while but never got to it before it was time to return it!

Wendy said...

I agree 100%...best book I've ever read; one I will keep on my shelf forever and re-read. Everyone should read this book.

Andi said...

TOLD YOU!

*does the book recommendation victory dance*

Kim said...

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!! I LOVED this book with a passion and think everyone should read it! I cried and cried, but I just knew I had read something truly special when I was finsihed. And even though "Death" basically tells you how the book will end, I was so not prepared for how gut wrenching it was! Anyway, this is my long winded way of saying it was an awesome book :0)

Aarti said...

I'm glad you liked this one, Stephanie! It had me sniffling and sobbing when I read it last year. By far the best book I read in 2006. And the best book I've read in quite some time, really.

Trish said...

I HAVE to pick this up soon. I keep hearing from everyone what a great book it is and now its official (I don't think I've shed a tear while reading since The Time Traveler's Wife--and I'm pretty teary). I was looking for a review on I am Charlotte Simmons and found this. I've had that one sitting on my shelf for about a year, but haven't picked it up yet...

Rebecca Reid said...

I mostly liked it too. Here's my review.I wonder about the label "children's book" for this one.