Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Published: March 14th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers    
Pages: 550
Part of a Series: No
Recommended By: Everyone
Teaser: "Stars of David were plastered to their shirts, and misery was attached to them as if assigned. “Don’t forget your misery …” In some cases, it grew on them like a vine."
In a sentence or so: A young girl growing up in Nazi Youth must decide which words in life to believe in."
*Rating: 10/10
GoodReads Description:
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery....

Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.

With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul

1. Type of story: Historical Fiction. (Free 1 point)
2. Consistency: Lost in it. (1 point)
3. Flesh: Hans with the silver eyes and sad lolling accordion. Rosa  seemed so mean spirited with her constant insults but loved her family so deeply. Max hiding in a basement and dreaming of fighting The Fuhrer. The Mayor's Wife so broken. Rudy standing up for what's right and only wanting a little in life: to run fast, eat his fill, and get a kiss from the extraordinary girl next door. Liesel growing up amongst this seeing horror but still finding some happiness in friendship, some knowledge and comfort in words and growing into a young woman those around her could be held up by. The girl who saved others with words. So many others each unforgettable.(1 point)
4. Flow: The story moves slowly but not in a bad way. Every piece of it is worth time, so take your time with it.(1 point)
5. Character Growth: Talk about growth: Liesel starts off just a sad girl missing her mom and brother. She has to learn the bigger picture of what it means to be a German girl in Hitler's youth, what war and the men who start it are, and who she chooses to be in the circumstances. (1 point)
6. A Point/ Purpose/ Journey: One of my favorite (because it applies to me as well): Books save lives (1 point)
7. Witty Dialogue: Yes, the clever snaps of friendship. Though some of it is in German. There is just enough to show the resilience of humanity, no matter what, when loved, people can choose to go on living. (1 point)
8. Love: All of these characters are so full of love, for those around them and those lost in war. Love and sorrow.(1 point)
9. Evoke Realistic Images: I saw every basement, classroom, cold river, everything and I don't remember how it was done. Flawless.(1 point)
10. If anyone ever thought about it, "What's the best way to tell a story about war?", they should arrive at the same conclusions as Markus Zusak. Death should narrate. Death sets the pace of war.  Sometimes there are many, some days there are few. Sometimes you know them, and sometimes not. Sometimes the brutality of war bleeds together. (1 point)

Reread Worthy: Yes.
Recommendation: Anyone trying to survive.


  1. This is a beautiful review. When I came o visit your blog I knew I would find something of substance here. Still I was amazed. The voice of your writing is getting clearer and stronger. There is no doubt about it you have much you can give the world with your writing.

  2. Love your recommendation sentence. :) I felt the exact same way when I read it. My review