THE OFFICIAL BLURB:
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become 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 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 accordion-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 Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
The Book Thief is a story about the power of words to make worlds. 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.
There are a lot of books out there surrounding the time of The Holocaust. I have read many of them. The thought of people wanting to destroy all historical evidence of this time & event and pretend it never happened appalls me. Like I said, I’ve read many of these stories, and they are horrible to the core. But it reminds me how important it is to be compassionate, forgiving and accepting of others. Everyone deserves to live with dignity and humanity. Future generations need to know what can happen when extremists take control and this sort of human destruction should never be allowed to happen again!
The Book Thief highlights the injustices, the discrimination & the crimes of the time but also personalises it through the eyes of young Liesel and emphasises the power of literature, of the written word. I hope that power is never lost. Words allow us to express ourselves, lose ourselves and dream of endless possibilities for our future.
Liesel’s story is told through the narration of a cynical voice. The eccentric voice of ‘Death’ itself. Death is everywhere, especially during the Nazi reign of Germany and especially if you were Jewish. So an apt choice for The Book Thief and one carried well by the author.
By the end, I found ‘Death’ to be a sympathetic and almost charming story-teller.