Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Content: PG-13 (Death Themes)
Level: Middle School/High School
Recommendation: Must Read
Summary: It's just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quiet a lot of thievery...
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist--books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Review: This book is one of those books that everyone in existence should read. The insight into the innocent German mentally during WWII was very refreshing. Liesel Meminger is one character that will stick with you for a very long time. The novel is written through Death's point of view and therefore would not be suitable for a younger reader. The character also use the occasional profanities. These complex themes would be fantastic for discussion in any type of group or classroom setting.