Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Book Thief

Zusak, Markus. The book thief. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Print.

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2006 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
2006 Publishers Weekly Best Children Book of the Year
2006 Booklist Children Editors' Choice
2007 ALA Best Books for Young Adults
2007 The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature Honor Book

Annotation: Narrated by Death, The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl living in a foster home during World War II era Munich, Germany.

Book talk: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a brilliantly crafted and gorgeously written piece of historical fiction. Narrated by Death (who does not carry a scythe by the way, but is otherwise tickled by the oft used description), it is a story about a young girl growing up with foster parents on a poor street outside Munich during Nazi Germany.

Death calls Liesel the book thief because when he came to claim Liesel’s younger brother he noticed her stealing a book, a grave digger’s manual. Although Liesel begins her story unable to read, her foster father uses the manual to teach her. Throughout the story Liesel steals (collects?) other books and begins to craft her own, an act which will ultimately save her life. Liesel also collects friends – Rudy, the boy with lemon-colored hair, and Max, the Jewish man who hides in the basement – and learns about friendship, love and humanity in a time when hate-filled propaganda is everywhere.

This is a story that reminds us that war and death are best friends, people are not always as they seem, and simple acts of kindness sometimes change the world. 

ISBN:  0375831002   

Subject Headings: Germany – History – 1933-1945 – Juvenile fiction, Books and reading – Fiction, Storytelling – Fiction, Death – Fiction, Jews – Germany – History – 1933-1945 – Fiction, World War, 1939-1945 – Jews – Rescue – Fiction

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