The Book Thief review

Another thief book set during World War II, this was a terrific counterpoint to City of Thieves.  The protagonist is another teenaged thief, but she is German, she’s a younger, more accomplished thief, and she is a girl.  This is a children’s book narrated by Death.  You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but Death has a catchy narration style!  The Book Thief is in a class of transcendent books that excel at every level.  It’s a wonderfully engaging children’s book, an historically significant view of the war as experienced by German civilians, and a superbly worded treatment on the power of words and books.  Zusak’s Death comes across like a member of Fall Out Boy: “I am an arms dealer/Fitting you with weapons in the form of words.” He doesn’t care which side wins, it’s just the business he’s in.  This story empties your heart, fills it up again, then smashes it flat as a bombed building.  Like the souls carried away by Death, young readers are in good hands with Zusak.

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2 Responses to “The Book Thief review”

  1. Children’s book? I think the majority of children and adolescents would not be able to grasp some of the deeper concepts or understand some of the vocabulary terms used throughout the book.

    • jaclemens Says:

      I would not consider this a children’s book either, but I have deliberately kept my categories broad: fiction, non-fiction, and children’s. This book is actually young adult (ages 12-17), a classification that is inherently inexact.

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