Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Liesel Meminger's life changed the day she was sent off to live with her foster parents, the Hubermanns. No. Her life changed the day her little brother died because that was the day she stole her first book. The Grave Digger's Handbook.



Markus Zusak's New York Times #1 Bestseller takes place during World War II in Germany. His words capture us and bring us back in time to a place were death, Jews and a bunch of crazy Nazis are simple facts.


The narrator of The Book Thief is Death. Because really, who else could tell this story more appropriately other than Death himself. Death who met Liesel three times. The protagonist, Liesel, is a German girl which changes from other WW2 stories and adds a new side to history, even through fiction.


When the girl arrived at 33, Himmel Street, she carried with her a few meager possessions and a stolen book, one fallen from the pocket of a 14 year old in an unknown town. Found in the snow at her brother's burial. There was only one problem : Liesel could neither read nor write.



Each night when she woke from a nightmare, her foster father, Hans, was there to comfort her, until the bed wetting accident. Once he'd striped the sheets he found the book stashed away under the mattress. That was the day ( or night ? ) Liesel began her “Midnight Class” with the help of her new papa. As they worked through The Grave Digger's Handbook a strong bond formed between the man and the girl. The “Saukerl” learned about the power of words with the help of Hans Hubermann, the man with the liquid silver eyes.



Markus Zusak also introduces characters such as Rudy Steiner, Liesel's best friend; Frau Diller, one of Molching's proudest Nazi's; and Ilsa Hermann, the mayor's wife.


Liesel's life changed again when the Hubermanns hid a Jewish fist fighter, Max, in their basement, putting their lives at risk. A strong friendship develops throughout the book between the Jew and the German.


I can not count on two hands the number of times The Book Thief made me break down in tears and moments later shriek with laughter. It is more a work of poetry, flowing, page after page, until you've finished the book. Do you know what you will do once you have finished this book ? I'll tell you. You have a good cry because you know that you will never read another book that will touch your soul as this one did and then you read it over again. It's as simple as that.


As Liesel once wrote “I try to ignore it, but I know this all started with the train and the snow and my coughing brother. I stole my first book that day. It was a manual for digging graves and I stole it on my way to Himmel Street...”



The rest is up to you. All you need to do is dive into Liesel's world and live her adventure over and over again.




Join the Discussion


This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

vballgirl99This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 23, 2012 at 11:54 am:
I read this book just this past week and loved it! You're description was perfect!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Josika.Nav said...
May 27, 2012 at 9:50 am:
hey! i love it! i think i'm actually going to read the book ( and i'm not that big a fan of reading ).i could very well sense the fact that this book touched you. .....however, there are a few errors. in the beginning (the second para)..should'nt it be , "bring us back in time where death..." and there are a few punctuation mistakes too. but other than that :great work and keep writing :D
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback