The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Genre: Young Adult
Age Range: 12+ (Grade 7+)
Reviewed by Cassandra Hsiao
Author Markus Zusak possesses an indescribable way of writing filled with brilliance and boldness. Death himself narrates The Book Thief in a voice that is both humorous and poignant, but never saccharine. During World War II, Death follows the astounding story of Liesel Meminger, a 9-year-old girl who is sent to live in Molching, Germany. Her foster father teaches her how to read her very first stolen book, The Gravediggers Handbook, and before long, Liesel is hooked onto the miraculous power of words. As her thievery skills develop and her collection of stolen books grow, so does her world of unlikely friends including her sidekick Rudy, the mayor’s wife, and the Jew that is hiding in the basement. It’s a certainly remarkable narrative in which even Death himself is constantly surprised at mankind’s fortitude to survive.
Zusak paints his tale using words as his medium—simple words, yes, but when strung together in an almost poetic form, it creates a piece of art that will leave readers musing in awe even as the plot continues to propel forward. Every character will continue to haunt readers in a unforgettable, beautiful way. The Book Thief represents the unheard side of Germany that needs to be revealed, and it comes with a gallery of images that will stay with readers forever.
Publish @http://www.colapublib.org/teens/reviews/ (County of Los Angeles Public Library)