by Markus Zusak
Liesel Meminger never expected her brother to die and that Nazis would discover her parents were communists, but her life really turns around after she steals her first book, The Grave Digger's Handbook. Sent to a foster home to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann, she quickly builds a new life on Himmel Street in Molching, Germany, finding a new friend in a certain Rudy Steiner. As she is being taught to read by her Papa, she begins to discover the power of words.
After several adventures and a couple more book thefts, Liesel begins to settle in. But just as her life seems to become normal, the Hubermanns decide to hide a Jew, Max Vandenburg, in their basement. Liesel quickly befriends Max and discovers he shares the same passion for words. Through their friendship, Liesel learns not only that words can not only be used for good, but also for bad. However, after an anti-racism action from Hans, Max has to leave Molching for his own safety. Nevertheless, the tough times aren't over for Liesel and her family. As bombs begin to drop on Molching, people start to fear for their lives and safety.
This thrilling yet charming award-winning book is sure to capture you from the start to the startling conclusion. With memorable characters and a captivating plot that will enthrall children as well as adults, this book is a definite must-read. Right from the start, with the unique introduction of Death as the narrator, Zusak demonstrates his beautiful and poetic writing style. Examining important themes such as racism, sacrifice, loyalty, and perseverance in a remarkable way that only Zusak can achieve, this book is a good example of how life isn't always fair. In summary, The Book Thief will leave readers of any age thinking about and seeing the Holocaust in a new light as well as learning the power of words.
*We chose this book for our mother-daughter book club