The Book Thief | Teen Ink

The Book Thief

April 6, 2009
By JaclynMiller BRONZE, Canfield, Ohio
JaclynMiller BRONZE, Canfield, Ohio
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't let failure go to your heart, and don't let success go to your head."

The Book Thief, a gloomy tale by Marcus Zuzak, is an excellent re-telling of a famous, historical event from a brand new perspective. Unlike most World War II novels, it has a storyline that lies mostly within German citizens, as opposed to the Jews. Zusak creatively illustrates another perspective of life during the Holocaust.
The plotline of this novel is fast-paced and descriptive. It allows the reader to become involved in the events that take place through vivid detail and unique writing style. The story tells of a German girl named Liesel Meminger and how her life is transformed when she discovers the power of words through reading. After her foster father teaches her how to read, she secretly begins to steal books from anywhere she possibly can, since her family cannot afford them. However, as times get more dangerous with the Holocaust approaching, her life gets turned upside-down as her family chooses to hide a Jew in their basement. As Liesel’s reading continues and her friendship with the Jewish man grows stronger, she soon realizes the true potential that words have. This story is truly enduring and deeply moving.
The characters in The Book Thief are each perfectly developed for the telling of this story. They are each very realistic and loveable. Each character’s actions and emotions are imperative in understanding the anger and bitterness that many Germans had towards Hitler and the unfair treatment of Jews during World War II. Perhaps the most interesting component of this novel is its narrator. The story is told from the perspective of death. This unique aspect truly gives the reader a feel for the amount of people who lost their lives during this awful and traumatic time. The setting of The Book Thief takes place in 1939, in Molching, Germany, on Himmel Street. The Story occurs during World War II, a time of both grief and despair. It is a novel that provides superb historical insight and memorable messages dealing with love and the importance of family. A main theme of The Book Thief is to live life to the fullest, so that when one’s time is up, he/she will have no regrets. Markus Zusak’s writing style is deeply inventive and flows with intensity. His word choice and phrasing are uniquely crafted in helping the reader understand and experience the story from the eyes of his characters.
“The Book Thief” is a touching novel that holds truth for people of all ages. It is a truly inspiring and enduring story that is bound to become a classic in the library of our generation.

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