The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This is another book in the lengthening list of  fiction books based off of the events of the Holocaust.

Set in the years just before the start of World War II, The Book Thief follows the story of a young girl named Liesel Meminger. The book opens with her being taken to foster parents. Although she is afraid at first, Liesel slowly begins to become more comfortable with her new living situation, making friends out of the next door neighbor, Rudy Steiner, who is always after a kiss from Liesel.

When the war hits hard around the world, it hits hard on Himmel Street where Liesel now lives. Her life becomes complicated when her foster father hides a Jew, the son of an old friend, in their basement. But no matter how hard times get, the one thing that keeps her going is books. And one of the way to get books for a poor girl is to steal them.

Two of my favorite things about this book are:

1) It’s narrated by the grim reaper.

2) Throughout the book, the narrator gives away the ending because he doesn’t like suspense. But even though I knew what the ending would be, I still bawled my eyes out at the end.

Of course the book was sad because it was about the Holocaust. It didn’t take place in a camp, but it was interesting to see what also happened during the war in areas of Germany. Overall, it was very, very well written. The characters felt so real, like I actually met them, and the story line was addictive. It was a book I couldn’t put down.

It’s a book that is appropriate for any age, whether you’re a teenager looking for a good book, or an adult looking to share a book with your kids. It’ll bring up conversations about why people are treated unfairly in the world, how people should be treated, and death. It’s a book that will expand the minds and let the world see a different world where, even with so much hate, there was still love.

Grade: A+

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