The Book Thief – review by Uma

 

Uma is in my 6th grade literature course. Serious and fun, sweet and clever, this girl is great to have in class. If you read enough of these posts, my adjectives for student do repeat, but she, like her classmates, really is all that. What can I say? I work with great kids.

Uma has chosen to review THE BOOK THIEF, which I affectionately call “The best book I’ll never finish.” The writing is sublime, but I found it so distressing that I couldn’t make myself read the rest. Uma’s review makes me want to grow up and be more like her because I know I’m missing out. Thanks, Uma, for making me reconsider this one.

 

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusakbook_thief

“It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she 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.”-Amazon

In the past, I have read many different historical fiction novels, (it being my favorite genre) but none can compare to the intricate and beautiful story The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The story explores much more than the Holocaust. It explores how humans love and form inseparable bonds in a variety of scenarios, which is a very creative and interesting topic, in my opinion. Some examples are a  Jewish man and the non-Jewish protagonist creating a friendship that lasts through tragedy and separation, or the main character’s foster father teaching her how to read, which begins her book thievery and constant love for this new parent. Narrated by Death, the book tells the story of a little girl growing up in Nazi Germany and how this time period affects her life. Her triumphs, failures and lessons, are hilarious, heartwarming, and touching. The protagonist is also very charming, for although not relatable by modern standards, she is very brave (such as when she reads in bomb shelters to soothe neighbors) and not scared to stand up for herself, and she has a big heart. Lastly, although this is a fantastic book, it is quite mature. There is loads of cursing and it is very violent, so I would probably recommend this for grades 6 and up. But overall, The Book Thief  is a book with complex, interesting storyline and ideas and a fantastic set of characters that will captivate you!

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