Writing a sad book isn't emotionally manipulating. It was just the way he wrote everything, with the specific intent to make you cry.
As for that, I think there are enough Holocaust books without fictitious towns coming into play. As historical fiction, it just isn't right (regardless of writing quality). But that's my opinion; it's quite all right if someone disagrees. :)
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!! It made me cry, but it was incredibly well written and the detail and everything elses was great. I loved the way death was the narrator and was not portrayed negitively, and how he didn't like ot take people, and I loved all the characters and the different things that they did, and the idea that Markus Zuzak used (ww2, girl/biy and family hide jew) was a little staryotyped but he did an amazing job and avoided the staryotypes, and yes it was depressing and sad and made me cry, but I loved it so much! It's one of my friend's favorie books, too. I really tpught it was excillenty written (sorry about spelling)
I disagree. I really liked it, and i don't think he was emotionnaly manipulationg you. He set in fictitios town probobly because he didn't want anyone to look it up and go, 'that's not what happened! That town got through ww2!'. He added the book stealing part in because it was something that she wasn't supposed to do, and she did, and no, I dodn't think that you waere supposed to go oh poor little girl, but wow.I'm writing a story set in a fictional town because I don't want someone to say, 'that didn't happen there.' It's not the mark of a bad writer.
The Book Thief was one of the summer reading books I had to read but by far one of my favorites. :) So yeah, I think it would be good for teachers to give to students. The majority of my class liked it also, so I'm not alone in the matter.
I loved The Book Thief, although I was the only one in my whole advanced lit. class who actually cried at the end! I mean, how can you not cry? Spoiler alert-EVERONE DIES!!! In the last chapter!!! Right when you think everything's going great, BOOM!, they all explode and the poor girl gets adopted again. Depressing...