- Rating : 5/5
- Genres : YA , historical fiction
“The book is about a girl , some words , an accordionist , some fanatical Germans , a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery.” We are in 1939 and World War II is right around the corner. Liesel Meminger is on her way to her foster parents accompanied by her mother and brother. On their journey to Munich, her brother Werner dies. He is then buried by the train tracks. At that point, it is the first time in the story that book thief strikes , that’s when Liesel finds a book “The Grave Digger’s Handbook” in the snow. A twelve step guide to grave-digging success , that was published by the Bayern Cemetery Association. This is the first book in her collection of stolen books. After becoming an orphan , Liesel moves in with her foster parents who live in Molching , more specifically on Himmel street.
The story tackles a lot of problems, but mainly a crucial one being “surviving through hard times”. Liesel cannot read so her foster father , an accordionist , teaches her how to read. The book focuses on the relationships and different bonds that are formed over time. At some point in the story , you realise that her foster parents are hiding a Jew in their basement. And this creates a big problem in their small town filled with fanatical Germans. They hide him under a Nazi flag when their basement is inspected by soldiers. Liesel forms some wonderful bonds with her foster parents , the Jewish fist fighter , and best friend Rudy. The answer to most of the problems that she faces depends on the bonds that she forms with the people around her. Liesel survives war by creating a place where she feels safer surrounded by the people who love her. My favourite character is by far her foster father , Hans who teaches her some important life lessons. He is just a wonderful person overall whom you can look up to.
I am really happy with the book that I chose. The story is dark and talks about a dark period of our history , but it has its funny and lighter moments to give the reader some hope and bring us joy as we go through the story. The pacing of the story is slow , but it fits the story very well. Markus Zusak ‘s writing style is simplistic , but very original throughout the book and the author tends to share some facts and sarcastic comments that make you think. (An example : *** Here is a small fact*** You are going to die.) The book is thought provoking and with the fitting pace it gives you time to think about the events as they unfold. The characters have depth and different layers to them. Death as a narrator comes out well. Death focuses on the beauty around him , and he is quite sympathetic contrary to what one would think. Liesel’s imagination and love for books helped me relate to her very easily. The story took a hold of me , and made me develop a strong connection with the characters. The ending is emotionally draining and bitter sweet. The ending is horrible but yet realistic. If I had to describe this book in one word it would be ‘perfection’. I do not regret reading this book even if it’s quite lengthy. The book is really about struggle and hope , about a young girl trying to overcome problems that seem insurmountable.
Definitely watch the trailer and the movie