Friday, January 30, 2009

review of "The Book Thief"

I finished reading "the Book Thief" by Markus Zusak and I was most impressed with the story. It fits in well with "BRAVE DEEDS," my book about the Second World War.  Both books have been recommended as reading alongside "The Diary of Anne Frank."  But whereas "BRAVE DEEDS" is set in Holland and features a family of Dutch war resisters, "The Book Thief" is set in Germany during the time the Nazis ruled.  Both books deal with hiding people from the Nazis.  
In "The Book Thief" an impoverished German family deals with the upheaval in their country during the time Hitler was in power.  It is written from the point of view of death and features a young adopted girl who steals books.  Life is difficult.  The future looks bleak.  At times the story is gloomy, at times it shines with pathos, love and caring for others.  The story moves forward brazenly and is never sugarcoated.  
"The Book Thief" gives the reader a good perspective of what life was like for Germans who did not agree with the Nazis' actions, and who befriended or tried to save Jews.  
In both "BRAVE DEEDS" and "The Book Thief" compassion and daring acts move the plot forward.  Standing up for what is right, even if it means you put yourself in harm's way, is the message.
I recommend "The Book Thief to anyone age twelve and up.  "BRAVE DEEDS"  is recommended for anyone age nine and up.