Independent Reading: The Book Thief

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, was published in 2005 and has won many awards including: The 2006 Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book, The 2007 Book Sense Book of the year, was on the 2009 Pacific Northwest Young Reader's Choice Master List and was a New York Times #1 best seller.

The book takes place in Germany in the 1930s-40s and is about a girl named Liesel Meminger, the book thief, and her extraordinary journey that starts when her brother dies on their way to a foster home.

There are many characters to love: Hans and Rosa Hubermann, Liesel’s foster parents; Rudy Steiner, Liesel’s best friend; Max Vandenburg, the Jew that hides in Liesels basement for a large portion of the book; but my favorite character by far has to be Death, the narrator.

In the beginning of the book it is a little bit weird seeing things from his perspective, how he talks of colors and carrying people souls, but as it moves along you get accustomed to the point of view and the writing style.

The way it written is different from any other book I have ever read. The paragraphs are usually short and there are “notes” throughout the book that usually describes things from a third person view. Because of this I found that it was very easy to dive into and stay focused on.

As you continue reading you almost start to forget that the story is narrated by Death, but he always finds away to remind you by talking about how hard his job is, or by talking about the difference in souls, or by giving away things that happen later in the story.

One thing that I continued to wonder about was what Death did with the souls after retrieving them. It was something that the book never mentioned, it only told how he would take them and carry them.

The story itself about this girl, Liesel Meminger, the book thief, is a long one with many different overlapping storylines. It is always fun to see how different peoples stories fit into the bigger picture.

This book is mainly about the life of people living in Nazi Germany and the struggles that one particular girl goes through. Aside from her brother dying and her mother leaving her at a foster home, she has to deal with learning how to read in the 5th grade, having nightmares every night about her brother, juggling her feelings about Rudy, and keeping quiet about Max, among other things.

You can only imagine how difficult it is for her to live like this and by the end of the book you have tremendous respect for her.

I really liked this book, it was highly recommended by my friends and it did not disappoint. There is supposedly going to be a movie that they started working on 2012. I am excited to see it, but am afraid that it might ruin the book by putting images into my head that are different from the ones I made myself. This book will amaze you in ways you didn't know were possible, it was fun and enjoyable to read, I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

A scene from the beginning of the book when Liesel's brother dies. I drew this scene because it is a very important part of the story and it was one that I visualized well.