The Book Thief

The Book Thief is a novel written by the Australian writer Markus Zusak. The story is told by the narrative of Death. Death follows the tragic life of a German girl named Liesel Meminger (nicknamed the ‘Book Thief’) during the period of World War 2.

The novel is beautifully written and sheds light on a lot of historical events that took place in Nazi Germany, for example the book burnings and the hidings of Jews. Liesel is a curious young girl with a love for books. At the beginning of her tale, Liesel is sent off to be adopted by a poor married couple – a thoughtful accordion player named Hans Herbermann and his big hearted but strict wife Rosa.  On the train ride to her new foster home, Liesel witnesses the death of her little brother, marking her first encounter with Death and the first time she steals a book. However Liesel is illiterate at the beginning but soon is taught by Hans how to read and write, beginning her love for stories.  As well as learning to read and write, Liesel becomes best friends with a young boy named Rudy. The pair get up to lots of mischief during the novel, including stealing books from one of the richest houses in town. The novel takes a serious turn as it enters further into the period of Nazi Germany, danger leaking from each page. One night a Jew turns up at the door, seeking safety and shelter away from the Nazi power. What happens next is revealed in the novel.

I absolutely loved reading this novel; it was an enjoyable but very tear jerking experience. However as well as being a sad story, it was very humorous due to both Death’s and Liesel’s sarcastic comments. The story is told by a very interesting narrative, Death’s voice really makes the story stand out and increases the level of attachment towards the character of Liesel as she watches the people around her die. I have reread the book a few times and I still feel very emotional afterwards.  In conclusion, I highly recommend reading this amazing story.

by Lauren Gabriel


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