It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who 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.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time
Hardcover, 552 pages
Published March 14th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
I really don't know what to say about this book. There are so many thoughts in my head after reading this that I know there is simply no way to get them out in the way they deserve. I will attempt by starting at the beginning.
I did not pick this book up because it has been recently made in to a movie. I didn't decide to read it because while on vacation I saw several people sitting on the beach reading it. I decided to read it because it has been repeatedly showing up on my recommended to read list on Goodreads based on how I rated previous books. I knew nothing of the book aside from the synopsis provided on the book cover yet I knew it was something that I must read.
As advertised this is a story about the war in Germany and therefore you know going in that it will be tragic and the book certainly delivers. From the very beginning I was drawn to Leisel and her story. I fell in love with her and all of the important people in her life. Papa, Max, and Rudy to name just a few were all characters that will stay with me for a very long time.
I will not bore everyone with a lengthy review as there are thousands of them already to choose from. What I will say is that it was the writing style of Zusak that drew me in to the story. It was so well written and original in style that the pages flew by before I knew it. I can honestly say that this is one of the most original writing styles that I have ever seen and I do not think will be re-created in any other works. I marvel at the talent that created this piece of work as in my opinion there was a little bit of "outside the box" thinking that went in to this story.
I truly regret that it has taken me this long to read this. It was a truly rewarding yet haunting story. It is also one that I think everyone should read. The story is ageless and I can say that three generations of my family have now read this, my mother, my niece and myself. This can be appreciated by all. I truly thank Zusak for allowing me in to his imagination to live Leisel's story.
In closing I have to acknowledge that the closing sentence of this story is the most impactful and truly honest sentence I have ever read. I will not divulge it for those who have yet to experience this brilliant work however it truly makes one sit back and think. It was pure genius.
About the Author