The Book Thief brings Nazi Germany to New Light

The Book Thief brings Nazi Germany to New Light

By Lexxi Swanson

The Book Thief is one of the best books that I, personally, have ever read. The Book Thief is an amazing historical fiction book by Markus Zusak. This book takes place in Natzi Germany during World War 2 and The Holocaust. Though, it may sound depressing The Book Thief does have some humor and many touching moments (that I cried over for two months). The plot follows a small German girl named Liesel Meminger (a.k.a “The Book Thief”). I loved this book for so many reasons! The characters are so easy to fall in love with, especially Liesel Meminger and her foster parent, Hans Hubermann. The amount of affection Hans shows for Liesel is amazing and heart melting. I was absolutely enchanted by the narration. Which was the 3rd person view that was written beautifully. Zusak does an absolute amazing job of narrating this book from the viewpoint of Death itself. But, Death isn’t that bloodthirsty villain that some think of it. Nor is it completely depressed as others believe. Death is seems more human through this narration. It actually has a small sense of humor and has a werid compassion for people, mostly showed in the case of Liesel during this book.

The best part about Death being the narrator is that this book does take place in one of the most prominent times of death in history. There could be no better person to tell this story. Death also goes into some short detail about the actual events that happened during the Holocaust and World War 2. Along with a small portion of World War 1 because of one main characters took part in it. Another thing I found interesting in The Book Thief is that there are several German words used in this book. All of them did have a small translation to english during the book. In fair warning most of the words in The Book Thief should not be repeated around Marissa Wanamaker, German teacher at LHS. I would have to give this book a rating of 4.8 out of 5. The only reason that I have to deduct 0.2 from it is because of the ending. This book ends so abruptly, but Zusak does try to soften the blow (more like an atomic bomb exploding on your foot) several times during the book

. Other than that The Book Thief is an absolute masterpiece. In my opinion lovers of history would enjoy reading this book. Along with those who just want a basic knowledge of the Holocaust and World War 2 through fiction literature. Though, those who do prefer books with rainbows and unicorns in it may not want to read it. Because most of The Book Thief is depressing, much like the period in time it takes place within. The main characters of this book are Liesel Meminger, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, and Max Vandenburg. Liesel Meminger (“The Book Thief” as called by other characters) is a headstrong and determined young teen. She gets her nickname from how she acquires several books, most of them being stolen from the library of the mayor’s wife. Hans and Rosa Hubermann are Liesel’s foster parents.

Hans is a kind and gentle man, much unlike his wife. He is also the one who initially teaches Liesel how to read. He is an awesome accordion player and a painter. Hans also took part in World War 1. Rosa is the opposite of her husband, being a strong and harsh woman. Death often refers to Rosa as “the woman with the iron fist”. Max Vandenburg is a Jewish man that starts living in the Hubermann basement half way through the book. His father was close friends with Hans Hubermann during World War 1. Max and Liesel do become great friends.

Which seems similar to a brother-sister relationship. They both do greatly care about each other. Which is shown in cases like Max creating two stories for Liesel. For those who would like to check out this book there are 2 copies in the LHS libraru. The Book Thief has also been turned into a movie. The movie does follow the plot fairly well, but the narration is almost completely eliminated including the extra background it gives.

Greg Keller
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