She was in shock. Her mother was gone. Her brother was dead. And she was in a strange place that scared her.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak describes the compelling story of Liesel Meminger, and her hardships of living in the slums of Munich, Germany during World War II. When her mother is unable to take care of her, Liesel must travel to new parents that will take care of her- Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Hans is a kind old man with watery gray eyes, and Rosa is a gruff, plump, rock of a woman. This story tells of how Liesel adjusts to this new, rough life, and the people that cross her path. Then, a strange man, Max Vandenburg, comes into their lives. He is a Jew, running from the Gestapo, and looking for a place to hide from the Nazis. As Liesel gets to know this strange man, she realizes how much they they have in common. They have both lost so much in their lives, and they find both themselves both in this same unfamiliar place.
Some of my favorite parts are when Liesel is actually stealing books, or when she is with her hilarious best friend, Rudy Steiner. Their relationship is the heart of the story. This quote from the book is one of my favorites:
“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.”
I also love the line when Death says, “The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.”
But really the whole book is amazing.
I loved this book! Of course, I love all things related to WWII and the Holocaust, but the story itself is quite compelling, and it’s interesting to get the perspective of the average German people during the war. This book does include some mature content, so I wouldn’t suggest that anyone under 10 read it. It is also strange in the sense that it is written from the perspective of Death, so obviously it isn’t the happiest book in the world. Again, for those of you that aren’t a big fan of books without happy endings, this isn’t the book for you. But through all of this, it is an incredible, POWERFUL story, and I highly recommend it. Also, there is a movie, The Book Thief, which you don’t want to miss- AFTER you finish the book!