The Book Thief is one of the most incandescent books of this era. The writing is out of this world, and the structure of this novel is a stroke of genius. Though you need to be in the right mindset to read this novel, it can be depressing; The Book Thief is one of my favorite books! Markus Zusak has a way of shaping words together to make such beauty that it’s as though each page is a canvas of its own. He is a true artist who has inspired me to become a better writer.
The story follows a girl named Liesel, who finds herself living with foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, on Himmel Street, Germany, while the war rages in their backyard. Her most prized possession is a book called The Grave Diggers Handbook, which she stole at her younger brother’s funeral (her first taste of thievery). Not knowing how to read, Liesel studies the pages until her foster father, Hans, discovers her inability to understand the words written on the pages and begins to teach her. Soon, Liesel becomes addicted to words and the magic that occurs when she opens a book. Who knew that there could be light in the midst of such a nasty war?
However, the light soon becomes even riskier to grasp once a visitor arrives at the Hubermann’s doorstep. Can Liesel continue living her three separate lives (who she portrays at school, at home, and in her secret library)? How much more danger will she willingly put her new family in to keep words in her life? And, who is this narrator that speaks such truth about humanity and mortality?
The Book Thief is a novel that teaches readers the lessons of family, love, sacrifice, hardship, and survival. It’ll make you smile, cry, shout, whisper, pray, hope, and wish for a fairytale ending. Once read, The Book Thief will hold onto your heart and never let you go. It’s a book that should have more recognition and be read by all who love historical fiction!
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