The Book Thief by Markus Zusak | FIVE STAR BOOK REVIEW

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Genres: Historical Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: 8th September 2007
Number of Pages: 554
Source: Bought myself

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HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH.
It's a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.
ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES.


FIVE STAR READ - warmed my stone cold heart and brought tears to my eyes, multiple times!

I can’t count the times I’ve been told to read The Book Thief and every time I was also recommended that I would need a box of tissues nearby. This made me apprehensive because I often don’t cry at books that everyone else does – I blame my stone cold heart that lacks feeling. But after reading this book my response is WOW, just WOW, this book really affected me. I cried thinking about what might happen to the characters, especially Rudy, I cried when death dropped the news of what would happen to the characters, and then I cried when it actually happened – I was just a big mess of tears, tissues and wails!

The writing style of The Book Thief was magical to read, I really enjoyed the third person narrative from Death which was humorous at times and lightened the heavy subject involving the Nazi Party’s Rule of Germany and the Second World War. I also really liked the additional notes added to the story by Death which allowed more of an overview of the war such as events which had happened to characters before the war, during the war and after the war - had the story just been told from Liesel’s perspective we would have missed these important experiences which involved the other characters. The Book Thief however is a story written by Liesel, Death is just the one retelling the story after finding Liesel’s book – this was such a fantastic idea by Marcus Zusak and was carried out perfectly.

As for characters, Rudy was my favourite. I loved his cute incessant teasing of Liesel and his idolism of Jesse Owens. For me this personified Rudy’s youth because he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t openly idolise and share his love for Jesse Owens - his defiance regarding this subject made me love him more but also fear for him in the same thought. Another character I really enjoyed was Hans Hubermann. One reason was his disagreement with the Nazi Party ‘ideals’, but the main reason was his importance to Liesel’s life and the story, because without Hans teaching Liesel how to read and write we would not have had The Book Thief. *Sam stops writing to remind herself that The Book Thief is not a real story – I think this further demonstrates how much this book affected me*

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