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Review by Bennett F
“Here is a small fact….You are going to die” This is fact one in The Book Thief. There are many more facts to come. The fact is, death is the narrator of this book. Death
speaks to us and tells the story of a girl who steals books during World War II. In The Book Thief, death tells the story of a 9-year-old German girl, Liesel Merminger. She was given up by her mother to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann right before the start of World War II. On their way, Liesel's younger brother Werner dies. At the cemetery, Liesel finds a book, The Gravedigger’s Handbook. She takes the book with her. She is very upset after the death of her brother and the loss of her mother. This story takes place during the time of Hitler. It is a very dangerous time and people are scared and worried about what is going to happen to them. Hans, her foster father, helps her learn to read. She really starts enjoying that she can read so she steals books from Nazi book burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, and anywhere else she can find them. Death described The Book Thief this way: “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 quite a lot of thievery.” Liesel, the main character, starts bonding with the other characters through her books. She makes many friends, but death is always following them in the story.. The books that Liesel stole brought people together and gave the characters power and hope. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak tells us how important books are. Its message is that words and stories are powerful ways for people to connect with one another.
I liked that Death speaks to the reader like a conversation. Other times he tells the story as an outsider. When death is talking to the reader the author puts his words in in the middle of the page. Sometimes they are facts and sometimes they are feelings that Death has. This gives the reader more information because Death sees everything, not just one person’s experience. He describes all the characters, Zusak invites the readers when Death says, “If you feel like it, come with me. I will tell you a story. I’ll show you something”. Death does tell the story but he also tells us his secrets. This was a deep book for me to read. It was different because Death was talking to the reader. I had to separate his message from the story. It was a little confusing at times. I actually liked Death’s words. It wasn’t depressing because Death didn’t seem evil or mean. He was even funny sometimes. The author used a lot of descriptive language, which many readers would like. For me, it was distracting. Anyone interested in World War II would like this book because it shows a different view of Nazi Germany. It shows readers that not all Germans hated Jews or believed what Hitler said. They also lived in fear for their lives. Readers who like something a little different, like Death as the narrator would also like it.

Review: The Book Thief

User Review  - Justina - Goodreads

So I finally read the acclaimed novel by Markus Zusak about Nazi Germany and a young girl named Liesel Meminger. I'd like to say that I held off reading this widely praised first novel of Zusak ... Read full review

Review: The Book Thief

User Review  - Ursula - Goodreads

I realise I am swimming against the flow of public opinion, but I didn't enjoy this book. I loved the characters, and cared about what happened to them. I didn't mind that it was "Death" telling the ... Read full review

Review: The Book Thief

User Review  - Weam E. - Goodreads

Where do I start? I have heard nothing but AMAZING things about this book. Also the fact that there's a movie being made about it just made me want to read it even more. This book surprised me. I knew ... Read full review

Review: The Book Thief

User Review  - Jess - Goodreads

This book... I don´t know what to think about this book. Or how to rate it. I had a really hard time getting into it. I liked the idea of death as the narrator but it was so weirdly written that it ... Read full review

Review: The Book Thief

User Review  - Tricia - Goodreads

I just didn't love this book. It was the first book I've read that was so easy to put down. Constantly. In fact I don't think I've ever picked up a new book before finishing another one...and did this ... Read full review

Review: The Book Thief

User Review  - Astrid Yrigollen - Goodreads

This book had a lot going on. Many interesting things but I felt they were not as fleshed out as they could have been.Narrated by death, ho- hum. I guess because I have read a lot of NON fiction ... Read full review

Review: The Book Thief

User Review  - Joseph Rizzo - Goodreads

I have similar problems with this book as I did with Slaughterhouse 5. It seems a strange comparison, but there are some similarities. I feel like the author tries to normalize death and portrays an ... Read full review

Review: The Book Thief

User Review  - Sarah Shin - Goodreads

The book is set in the midst of WWII in Germany and is narrated by Death. Initially, I thought it was unique and clever but as I continued reading, I felt that the book being narrated from someone ... Read full review

Review: The Book Thief

User Review  - k.wing - Goodreads

I wanted to love this book much more than I did. I loved the idea of Death as the narrator, and while a few of the characters were endearing at times, I couldn't fully immerse myself in the story ... Read full review

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