Review of: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

Reviewed by: Bella
The smell of smoke and mud fill the damp, miserable alleyways of Himmel Street. There is a girl; she sits innocuously reading. The girl’s name is Liesel Meminger. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, leads us into a house on the ever-gloomy Himmel Street in Molching, Germany. Liesel’s life has not been a piece of cake. Her brother, Werner, dies and her mother can no longer keep her, so Liesel is going to her foster home to meet her foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Little does Liesel know, it is with the Hubermanns that she will meet her best friend Rudy, a Jewish fist fighter named Max, and she will begin her acts of thievery, which gives her the title of The Book Thief.    Liesel’s best friend is Rudy, and he is one of my favorite characters. Rudy, to me, seems like the perfect friend; he is daring, loyal, kind, witty, and many other things. Liesel will have to cope with the  hardships of war and find her inner strength. Liesel is lost and lonesome and she is just getting her place into a family and starting to feel safe, when war and Death are making their way toward her.   Liesel will learn that  there is power in words and that she can be accepted into a family. Liesel begins falling in love with books, and then she begins writing her own beautifully written book.

This book was absolutely brilliant. The figurative language was unlike anything I have ever read and it was extremely breathtaking. In the book there are inserts of picture books drawn by Max, and Death’s thoughts, which I thought made the book even better and includes you even more in the story.  The characters are deep, and by the end of the story you feel like they are a part of your family.  I fell in love with the characters, and I was sad to finish it. Practically, everything in this novel is in depth: the characters, the writing, the setting, and everything else. I have gotten a whole new perspective on World War II, and one of the reasons is because of the narrator, Death.  Death is taking you on this journey, telling you a small story about “a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.” Death gives you his opinions, thoughts, and tells you the story of The Book Thief, which was beautiful and unique. One of the things that I have never experienced that was replete in The Book Thief is foreshadowing. Death would give you foreshadowing of events that made you love the characters even more. Some of the events in this novel are still cloudy in my memory because they are so tragic. Everything in The Book Thief was placed there for a reason and there was so much meaning within all of the text. With the help of one of my amazing teachers, Mrs. Herr, I have gotten so many things out of The Book Thief. If you have not read this book, you are missing out.  The Book Thief was packed with lessons and moods such as friendship, loyalty, hope, inner strength, sorrow, joyfulness, and so many others.  I learned so many things from this novel. Markus Zusak is an incredible author, and his book was lovely.

You NEED to read The Book Thief.  Anyone 12 and older will fall in love with this book as much as I did. If you want a beautifully written novel, then read this. Markus Zusak does not sugar coat the events that took place during World War II, so it is not appropriate for young readers. The quotes that stood out to me in this novel ranked off the charts because Zusak’s amazing writing.  I adored this book, and and all I can say is: have the tissue ready. This is my favorite book of all time. This book has left a lasting impression on me and I hope that you will take the time to read this beautiful novel.