The Book Thief – It’s What We’re Reading

May 2012

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

Taking place in Nazi Germany, Death tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a nine year old girl sent to live with a foster family in a town outside of Munich. On the way to her new home, she encounters two things which change her life forever. The first is Death when he comes to claim her younger brother and becomes the first of many encounters throughout Liesel’s life. The second is a book accidentally dropped by one of the gravediggers. Liesel keeps the book even though she cannot read, but sensing that it is somehow important. Her accordion playing foster father teaches her to read and Liesel becomes an avid reader, stealing books at every opportunity. Liesel’s childhood begins happily, but then the war begins to encroach and she is witness to all its horrors, the bombings, the treatment of the Jews, the burning of books. Her foster family hides a Jewish man in the basement which frightens Liesel at first, but she soon learns that they share much in common, especially their love of words.
The Book Thief is filled with wonderful characters and relationships. Even Death is an interesting character and it is through his eyes that we see all the death and destruction going on. It is through Liesel’s eyes that we see the strength of the human spirit. Although it is described as a young adult story, it’s a powerful story full of love, joy, death, and sadness and well worth reading.

This novel can be found in the CMC on the 2nd floor of the Library.