The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Chosen by Sonya

In 1939 Nazi Germany a young girl with a foster family begins collecting found books and attempting to understand her new reality.

⚑ “The Book Thief was my book choice and I was glad for it, an easy yet enjoyable and thought provoking, emotional read. Written with Death as the narrator, and providing a story line from the perspective of a German child during the second World War, gave it a less common war story. It was instantly intriguing. I especially loved the characterisation of all of the players. So clever, so gentle and compelling, Leisal (our Heroine), Hans (her wonderful foster Father), Rosa (her outwardly hard yet wonderful foster Mother), Max (the Jewish man in hiding), Rudy (her friend and first ‘love’) … And through all of them and the horror of events that played out, it was a strangely hopeful message of the ugliness and beauty that came in the war and which is the human condition. It is a book I will recommend to my kids when they are older, and to anyone seeking to read something with great substance without heavy labour.” – Sonya

⚑ “The Book Thief is a war story written for older children and young adults. As such it hits the mark, introducing the intensity of war themes while also investigating the human condition that resulted in the survival of war children. The themes and war detail approach the precipice of morbid intrigue but do hold back so as to remain censured and not to overtly shock or offend. But there is certainly enough to grip readers without treating them with kid gloves. There were obvious literary devices, Death as the narrator, a comic drawn on the pages of Mein Kampf, combined with deep characterisation to keep up the intrigue. While it is a book that can be enjoyed by all ages, I think the sometimes slow pace and many pages of the novel may put off some younger readers.”  – Rachel

Published 2006
Alfred A Knopf
552 pages

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