Home > Senior Fiction > The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Pub. Alfred A. Knopf, 2005

This review is for those people who have never read this remarkable story of life for ordinary Germans, who were not Nazis, during World War 2. First published in 2005 it has been around a while.

The setting is probably around Munich but it is never stated. The main character is a young girl called Liesel who is about 9 years old at the start of the war and cannot read. She understands the power of words because of the propaganda that was such a huge part in the lives of German people after the election of Adolf Hitler.

Liesel is left by her mother at the house of Hans Hubermann, a remarkable man and a model for us all, for the duration of the war. Hans owes a Jewish family a debt, not in money, but for an incident that saved his life during World War One. This debt is called in when he agrees to hide a Jewish man, much like Anne Frank.

Liesel’s relationship with the Jewish man is the hub of the story, and through him she learns to read and witnesses in childlike terms the horrors of Nazi Germany and the war.

The book is narrated by Death, a busy character during wartime and a unique point of view it is. Structured in nine parts, this is an easy read novel that will have you mesmerised until the stunning ending.

This novel is suited to the older student and young adult but in all honesty if you are good enough to read this novel then do so. It is a story that has to be told and understood for ever.

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