Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

     Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, this book has a dark side, but is illuminated by a spirit of hope and resiliency. Beautifully written, this author makes you care about each character through the eyes of the protagonist, a 12-year old girl named Liesel. Along with Liesel, we develop relationships with her accordion-playing foster father, her rough-around-the-edges foster mother, her adoring neighbor Rudy, and especially the Jewish man hidden in the basement.
     This book is captivating in so many ways; the way the author weaves in words (from a dictionary Liesel steals) that foreshadow events in the story; the way people come together despite the threat to their safety and livelihood; the evolution of friendships and families during a time of violence and war. The symbolism and imagery within this book are both beautiful and haunting.
     I finished this book two days ago, and I’m still thinking about it. It’s rare to read a book this heartbreaking and inspiring. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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