The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Name: Ojasvi Goel (11 years)
School: Vasant Valley School, New Delhi
Liesel Meminger is approaching a turbulent time. For herself, her family, her country and her world. She is approaching World War Two. It is 1939. Our main character, Liesel, has been shattered by the loss of her brother. Soon after, she goes to the small town of Molching, in the hinterland of Nazi Germany. There she is with a foster family, the Hubermanns, on Himmel Street. She does well, as well as a young girl in a poor foster family can do. Words are her salvation, as in them she finds hope, and finds courage. Her tryst with them begins at her brother’s burial, where she finds a book buried in the snow next to his grave. With Hans Hubermann, her new “papa”, she learns to read. Painstakingly, she learns the alphabet, and slowly, starts reading pages of the Gravedigger’s Handbook, her first stolen book. Before long, she has finished the book. Liesel now has a thirst, a deep passion for
words, and for books. So she starts her career as the book thief.
The Book Thief is a thoughtfully written book, with some beautiful parts, but it also shows the extent of the Holocaust. It successfully juxtaposes the good and the bad of Nazi Germany. It touches the heart and sends through its message, but at the same time loses out on crispness. To sum it up, the Book Thief is one of the best novels to read and savour, but it doesn’t make for easy reading.