Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publication: September 18th 2007, Alfred A. Knopf
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Historical Fiction
ISBN: 0375842209 / 9780375842207
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
“A DEFINITION NOT FOUND
IN THE DICTIONARY
Not leaving: an act of trust and love,
often deciphered by children”
This story took place during the World War II era, specifically in one of the countries involved- Germany. It revolves about the story of a young girl, Liesel, who came into Himmel Street as a foster daughter of Hans and Rosa Hubermann.
One of the dilemma that Liesel faced, aside from always remembering how her brother died on their way to Himmel, is on how to read the “The Gravedigger’s handbook“- the first book she stole. Thanks to her father, Hans, she learned a little bit of reading and was further deepened through her reading class. But mostly, in time of this, the main problem faced by everyone is how to keep living when everyone is called to die.
“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
Some of the characters that made an impact not only to Liesel, but to me as well are Rudy, Max, Ilsa, Hans and Rosa. Rudy, as Liesel’s bestfriend and lover, is one of the greatest heartache in this book. Their short yet great love story is a victim of words left unsaid and things left undone. Next, Max is a Jew kept by the Hubermanns on their basement and we all know that Jews are persecuted during the Hitler regime. Next, Ilsa, the one who gave Liesel that blank book which has a big impact in this story. Of course, Hans and Rosa Hubermann will always have a special place in my heart for they chose to be human when everyone else is being a monster.
“I have to say that although it broke my heart, I was, and still am, glad I was there.”
This story is told by Death himself and it adds a terrifying and thrilling factor to the story. It is a hard time to live with all the war and bombing and it is a miracle that Liesel lived for a very long time despite that Himmel Street was bombed and she was there. The bombing in the Himmel was the reason why all Liesel’s loved ones died. No- in fact the war and Hitler were the reasons why they all died. But after some time, I was convinced that if things are meant to happen to you, no matter what circumstance you’re under, it would still happen to you.
“Somewhere, far down, there was an itch in his heart, but he made it a point not to scratch it. He was afraid of what might come leaking out.”
The book thief- is an exceptional and well written book and I recommend that you too should read this because it helps us realize how lucky we are to live in this time, when all things were made in a more diplomatic way, and it makes us appreciate what we have before we lose it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Markus Frank Zusak, or most commonly known as Markus Zusak, a father of two and was born in Sydney, Australia. He is known for his two famous novels: The Book Thief and The Messenger. He won the annual Margaret Edwards Award in 2014 for his contribution to young-adult literature published in the US. To know more about him, just go to wikipedia.com.