Friday, May 12, 2006
What I'm Reading -- The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief is an amazing book. Just as he turned reality around in I am the Messenger, Zusak writes his new book from the viewpoint of Death, who is a better storyteller than you might think. Interestingly, the author takes foreshadowing to a new level when he basically gives a bunch of details away, but doesn’t ruin the story. Liesel Meminger is a young girl who loses her younger brother then has to live with foster parents in Germany near the beginning of World War II. Her foster parents turn out to be great and caring and encourage her love for words and books, which also leads to Liesel becoming The Book Thief. Great characters abound including her German friend who worships Jesse Owens, a Jewish refugee and the mayor’s wife who has a huge library of books in her mansion. This book covers all of the bases. The parts about the war and living in Nazi Germany are absolutely frightening. How the residents of this small town deal with change and brutality is both scary and heartening. Most of all, Liesel is a great character and her relationships with her new parents and friends are sweet and moving. This is probably the book of the year so far.