Book Thief, The by Markus Zusak


In The Book Thief, author Markus Zusak shows us the horrors of World War II Germany through the eyes of Death.

I do not carry a sickle or scythe.
I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold.
And I don’t have those skull-like
facial features you seem to enjoy
pinning on me from a distance.

In fact, Death has a heart, although he tries to keep himself emotionally distant from the living. But then there is this young girl…

Having lost her father and younger brother, little Liesel Meminger is placed in the foster care of the Hubermanns who live just outside of Munich. One of the few possessions that she has is a book, The Grave Digger’s Handbook, which she found at the site of her brother’s grave. Liesel is unable to read and constantly tormented by nightmares, so the kindly Hans Hubermann sits up with her night after night, teaching her to read from the Handbook. Soon, she is reading on her own and craves new books. However, money is scarce, and the only way Liesel is able to feed her obsession is to steal books whenever the opportunity comes.

The power of words becomes a comfort and strength not only for Liesel, but for her family, her neighbors, the haunted Jewish man hiding in the Hubermann’s basement, and, believe it or not, even for Death himself.

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