>> 28 November 2007
I have just finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
I stumbled upon a review at Books4breakfast and luckily the local bookshop had it. I finished it within a few days and would like to give it a great thumbs up.
The narrator is Death himsel telling the story of a young German girl, Liesel, growing up in a small town near Munich during WW II. But don't let that throw you off. At times, the narrator even becomes a likeable character.
Liesel cannot read but steals her first book when her little brother dies on the road to her new foster family. Together with her accordion-playing foster father she slowly learns to read and her interest in books, and stealing them, grows. When the family hides a Jewish man, son of the one who saved her foster father's life, Liesel builds a heart-warming relationship with him and becomes his eyes to the outside world he no longer sees from the basement.
Words are of utmost importance during the entire book. Hitler fights and controls with words. Liesel learns words everyday. Words have different meanings on different days or to different people. The author is able to mix the words into a story that will keep you clinging to the book. His descriptions and metaphores catapult you right into the setting and you are there, stealing apples and books with Liesel, you are wasting away in the basement with the Jew, you are accompanying death while he is collecting dead souls, you are part of Himmelstrasse during the read and all characters become very much alive and real.
And they remain with you after you have closed the book.
Although the book is categorized as 'Young adults' it spans its wings much wider. I recommend it.