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Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

Nazi Germany. For reasons she doesn't quite understand - something to do with the word Kommunist - nine year old Liesel is going to live with a foster family. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is her story.

Liesel's foster parents oppose the Nazi regime, and are willing to help those in danger - as is shown by them taking in Liesel and hiding Max, a Jew, in their basement. But this isn't a story of heroics - openly fighting the regime would just get you taken away as well. No, Liesel must still have a clean uniform for her Hitler Youth meetings each week. Rather the book is about the little things in life which are changed by such resistance.

The Book Thief. There is plenty of thievery going on in Liesel's community, but she is only on the edges of it. What she does steal is books, once in a while, and each one has it's own story.

This Novel is Narrated by Death. A bit quirky, you might think, and it certainly is for the first fifty pages or so - after that it settles down. What I liked about having such a narrator was that it gets away from using a death as a big event in a story. Yes, people are going to die, but don't let this rule your life.

In summary it's a haunting story giving a different view of a low point of 20th century civilization, and is well worth reading.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews