Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Book Thief

Guest Author Review by Filipa S.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Books have never been hard for me to begin, but I never seem to get to the end. So when I first pick up a book, the first thing I do is read the last page and see if it captures me. While I was doing my usual inspection of The Book Thief, I became so intrigued by that last pages that I knew I would be able to read the book from cover to cover.
The introduction to the book is an explanation by the narrator (who is death itself) of the three times he catches the Book Thief stealing. By giving a color to each location of the stolen item, the first in snow, the second in fire, and the third in darkness, he paints the reader a picture of the Nazi Flag. This gives a time period over which the book takes place. Then death introduces the reader to the main character, Liesel Meminger, by explaining their first interaction. From then on the book is split up into ten parts, and on the first page of each part the narrator gives a few key words that hint to what will happen.
Liesel is a young girl whose mother is unable to raise her. Liesel and her younger brother (who dies before they make it) are sent to be raised by a foster family in Molching, Germany. She has a strong desire to learn to read, precipitated by her curiosity over the first book she had stolen. Her foster papa slowly taught her how, and once she could read, words and letters intrigued her. Her adventures on Himmel street fill up the pages of the book, describing how she saves a Jew, joins a gang, and gets into countless trouble with her best friend, Rudy. The reader follows the life of this young girl until the end when her passion for words is what saves her life.
The Book Thief was a compelling, long, and descriptive book. The first parts of the book are captivating, but towards the middle it is very slow moving, although it picks back up near the end. I really like the way the narrator moves in and out of the novel and occasionally gives insight to what is going to happen in the future. I would recommend this book to someone between the ages of 15 and 19.  Not only is the plot stimulating but the historical content is a good backdrop for the storyline.

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