SparkNotes Blog

Synchrogirl117’s Book Review: The Book Thief

This week, synchrogirl117 tackles The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak. —Sparkitors

Meet Death, the narrator of this story. Death isn’t scary or mean, as most believe—he’s just doing his job collecting souls from dead bodies. Death is working overtime during WWII. He’s horrified by the death and destruction he has to clean up, and tries to ignore the people who are still alive, left behind to deal with the tragedy of war.

But there are some stories too powerful for even Death to ignore, and he soon finds the diary of Leisel Meminger, a girl growing up in Nazi Germany. When her mother is arrested and her brother dies, Leisel is sent to live with foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubberman. When Hans teaches her to read, Leisel is hooked—and she begins stealing books. As Leisel grows up, she makes new friends, becomes an aspiring writer, and finds a father in Hans.

But Leisel must face the reality of the war when a fugitive Jew ends up in her basement.

This book was definitely interesting. It is written very abstractly, with lots of symbolism and odd phrases. At times I thought it was fantastic—the weird writing style made emotions and people seem real. Other times it seemed a little forced. The story was great, though. A lot of it was very sad, but not overwhelmingly so, because you focus on Leisel growing up more than the war itself. It helps that Leisel is a likable character, and her friend Rudy is even better.

The book was especially interesting because most WWII literature I’ve read depicts EVERY German as evil. I’d never really thought about what the war must have been like for German citizens, and I really appreciated this new perspective.

The verdict: 8.231 pokemon cards (because who needs to stick with food rating scales?)

p.s. If you read this, have a tissue box nearby. Just sayin’.

Does this make you want to read The Book Thief?

Related Post: Synchrogirl117’s Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

Wanna write for SparkLife? Send your submission and nickname to contribute@sparknotes.com for consideration.