The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is historical fiction about a young German girl living with foster parents during World War II. It is narrated by Death (a pretty interesting perspective), who begins the story with a small fact: you are going to die.
In spite of the macabre narrator and ultra depressing setting, The Book Thief is heart-warming and Liesel (the little German girl) provides hope and joy during such a dark time.
If you’re looking for a quick, light-hearted book with a happy ending, this is definitely not the right book for you, but I would otherwise recommend it to anyone. I loved the characters and this book really knew how to tug at your heartstrings.
Perhaps my favorite part is when Liesel finds herself in a library, which I quoted below. Book lovers will surely appreciate it.
“Jesus, Mary …”
She said it out loud, the words distributed into a room that was full of cold air and books. Books everywhere! Each wall was armed with overcrowded yet immaculate shelving. It was barely possible to see the paintwork. There were all different styles and sizes of lettering on the spines of the black, the red, the gray, the every-colored books. It was one of the most beautiful things Liesel Meminger had ever seen.
With wonder, she smiled.
That such a room existed!
Even when she tried to wipe the smile away with her forearm, she realized instantly that it was a pointless exercise. She could feel the eyes of the woman traveling her body, and when she looked at her, they had rested on her face.
There was more silence than she ever thought possible. It extended like an elastic, dying to break. The girl broke it.
The two words stood among acres and acres of vacant, wood-floored land. The books were miles away.
The woman nodded.
Yes, you can.
By the way, the movie adaptation will be released on November 15 (the trailer is below). It looks like it will be a beautiful movie and, from what I can tell, stay pretty true to the book. Although it’s missing from the trailer, the movie will apparently be narrated by Death. I’m really looking forward to seeing it!