Paperback, 552 pages
Published March 14th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 2005)
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
I’ve seen movies about WWII. I’ve seen pictures of the Holocaust victims – men, women, children – of different ages. I’ve read texts about the reign of the Fuhrer and what he did to the Jews that scarred the whole humanity.
This book isn’t focusing on the Holocaust victims, nor on what the Fuhrer did during his reign. This book is about Liesel – the girl who believed in the power of books to make a change.
Liesel was adopted by a German couple who treated her as their own daughter. Despite the misgivings she had with her adopted mother, she was still loved. She also had many adventures with his enemy-turned-best-friend-turned-lover Rudy Steiner. They had experienced robbing orchards and farms, and of course, the mayor’s library. Liesel was so fond of books that she can’t resist the pull of those books. One day, a Jew came into their home. He stayed on their basement for a long time. He and Liesel became friends for they had so many similarities – they were experiencing nightmares involving their respective families, for example. Liesel became the the man’s eyes and ears on the outside world. Then the war came and all of their lives changed forever.
This book is not your usual YA fiction. It is a coming-of-age story of a girl during difficult times. It will move you to tears and change your beliefs. It will make you appreciate the little things around you that you’ve always ignored. It will make you think about the deeds you’ve made in the past. It will make you realize that you alone have the power to change yourself, to change the world. Trust me, it will. Xoxo
MY RATING: ❤❤❤❤❤