Book Reviews

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak book review

Lay on my bed, with tears falling down my face, I have just read the last page…


Before I review it..  Here’s the blurb:

There is a small fact

You are going to die.

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier

Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

Some important information

This novel is narrated by Death.

It’s a small story, about:

A girl

An accordionist

Some fanatical Germans

A Jewish fist fighter

And quite a lot of thievery

Another thing you should know.

Death will visit the book thief three times.

This book was breathtaking. Its about a young girl called Liesel who ends up in a foster home after her mother has gone to a concentration camp and it’s narrated by Death who, during a bad time in Himmel Street found her book and told her story.

Its so heartfelt. From the way she arrived in Himmel as a scared girl who had just seen her brother die on the train to a young woman who wanted to change the world with her words. Her love for words started when she stole her first book at her brothers graveside. From there her foster papa shows her how to read and write. Shows her how words can change a person. And the way he plays the accordian… you can see the love in her eyes when he plays it and how she describes him.

There’s her friendship with her next door neighbour Rudy, which from the beginning you can see the love they have for each other. And how he constantly asked her for a kiss which she always refused.

Then came Max, the Jew they hid in their basement, who drew a lasting friendship with Liesel and wrote her a story about The Word Shaker. Max is something to do from Hans Hubbermans past and when you learn the story it melts your heart.

Then there’s Mama and the washing service she provides which in turn leads Liesel to Isla, the Mayors wife, who shows her the library. Which is fun at first until something happens and she ends up stealing books from her.

You can see how some of the Himmel street residents do not believe in the propaganda that Hitler spreads and you see how they adapt and grow.

Then something terrible happens but I can’t spoil it because it will break your heart. I was crying. I wanted so badly for them… well read it and you’ll understand my feelings.

If you want a fast read this book is not it. This book is to be savoured and treasured and read with your heart wide open. Liesel is a great character and easy to love and weirdly so is Death. Its different to read a book from Death’s perspective and you see how he views the world and how much he cares for the souls he takes away.

All the characters in this book are easy to love and you go through all the emotions that the characters do.

I love how Liesel describes things that only a reader, writer and child can explain. How she explains the sky to Max, the way her papa plays the accordian and how she sees everything around her.

A definite must read. Even if you are not a fan of Nazi Germany, the Holocaust and War stories, this is brilliant. You see the life through the ordinary people who lived through it.

5 out of 5 stars


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