Publisher: Knopf Books
Publishing Date: 3/14/2006
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 held 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.
First off, I love reading a book that, at the end, I know I've learned something, even if it's through a fictional setting. The story of Liesel is very powerful and teaches us how it felt to live in Nazi Germany. It's different from other books in that it takes on the perspective of non-Jewish families during that time period. We see the Hubermann family struggle to do what they believe is right. They take in Max, a Jewish man, and hide him in their basement. Hans gives a piece of bread to a Jew as he's being forced towards a concentration camp. I think some people can have this idea in their minds that all non-Jewish Germans living in Nazi Germany were on Hitler's side, when clearly that isn't true. However, many of them were forced to partake in the Nazi ways as a result of fear for their lives and their families lives. This book is a great way to learn about history, while still enjoying a really good story.
I really recommend this book to everyone. It has such strong messages throughout the entire story and shouldn't be passed up. It has also made me realize how much I enjoy reading historical fiction! Like I said, you learn a little about history, and still have an amazing story to get you through. If any of my history classes in school were taught through books like this, I think I would have remembered a lot more about them! :)
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