The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I finished reading this yesterday. After drying wet eyes and putting a weary heart to sleep, I went over what I loved and didn't love. I'll share cons first, so there's something good to look forward to.
The language was strong for a story centered around a young girl. A man named Pfiffikus has the nerve to call ten year old Liesel a slut. While it was WWII, and life was a living hell, it seemed really, really harsh. Most of the characters in this story are far from family to the others during hard times. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, Rosa Hubermann!)
And, honestly, that's my main complaint about the story. Now on to pros.
I loved how Death was the narrator and broke all stereotypes about death. It's not evil; HE is not evil. He was the best narrator for the story. I loved him. I loved how sympathetic he was, how he wants humans to be comfortable and wants to provide hope for them.
Hans Hubermann. Leisel's father, best friend, and English teacher. A soldier, a giver, a man of words. What's not to love?
Rudy Steiner. "How about a kiss, Saumensch?" He was so cute! And such a great friend to Liesel. He deserved the world. Even the narrator admits he was treated unfairly!
Max Vandenburg. He's definitely my favorite character; I just love him. His imaginary battles with the Führer were so intense and beautifully executed what Jews may have legitimately thought of Hitler! I don't think the author could have captured stronger emotion! I also loved the stories he wrote: The Standover Man and The Word Shaker. They captured his life experiences in such a touching way! From a man afraid of being himself to a man who has learned to overcome that fear through a young girl's friendship. He's amazing, as is his journey.
And that's the crux of it. I adored this book. It's so worth reading, at any age.
Five stars for this beautiful story of courage, heartache, and the true power of words.
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