Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist- books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.
With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel 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.
I can't say enough wonderful things about this book. It is not only the best book I've read this year, but it also makes the top ten list of my all-time favorites. I will enjoy reading it again and again.
Death is a heart-wrenching narrator and the foreshadowing in this tale is some of the best I've read. It intrigued me that our MC is a German girl, as I have so rarely seen that perspective in stories surrounding World War II. The supporting cast of characters explode from the pages as Zusak expertly weaves a tapestry of love, hope and the darkest despair.
At its heart The Book Thief is about the power of words, so I wanted to finish this review with an alphabetical list of the ones I would use to describe a story that in my opinion is a YA masterpiece.
Absorbing, Brilliant, Colorful, Descriptive, Elegant, Fragile, Gracious, Haunted, Innocent, Judicious, Kindhearted, Lyrical, Meaningful, Necessary, Outstanding, Personal, Quiet, Respectful, Sympathetic, Tearful, Unnerving, Valiant, Willful, Xanthocomic, Youthful, and Zoetic.
I urge you to pick this one up. You won't be disappointed.