Monday, July 26, 2010

Completion of "The Book Thief"

Spoiler Alert! Details of book are discussed...

I finished reading "The Book Thief". When I finished, I was wishing it had been available for me to read at the same time I was first exposed to "The Diary of Anne Frank" as a young reader.

When I was grown, I found it difficult to teach Anne's diary and the history of WWII/Nazi Germany because the only thing I have in common with Anne is that I once was a teenage girl. I have never...

...been a Jew wearing a yellow star
...been persecuted for my religious beliefs
...had my family members taken from me
...experienced war
...been shut in a small space for several months.

But in "The Book Thief", there were so many characters... a reader had many choices to identify with throughout the course of the novel.

In "The Book Thief", the stories we know of Nazi Germany during WWII are presented by a narrator that we don't often see.

Death is the narrator of "The Book Thief". With Death as an all-knowing narrator, the characters of Liesel, her Papa, her Mama, Rudy and Max are given more depth than if the story had been written in first person from Liesel's (the book thief) view.

My favorite part of the story was Max's creation of "The Word Shaker" for Liesel. Zusak's (author) explanation about Hitler's words and Liesel's words, and how Hitler's words were designed for evil and persecution, while Liesel's were meant for sorrow and healing was powerful. Zusak made me stop and think about Hitler's words and the destruction he caused with words... just a combination of words.

Another point that me think was when Death narrated that he had picked up Hitler's soul and carried it away, pointing out that when Death arrived, Hitler was no different than anyone else and his words could not save him.

Zusak did an amazing job with this story. I wish I had read it when it was first published.

Does anyone else think Liesel possibly married Max???

Excellent book and thanks to Tracy for pointing it to my attention.

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