Monday, 10 November 2008

The Book Thief

Excellent book. Really, really good. This is the story of a little girl in Nazi Germany who has little in the way of material goods, but learns to recognize the power of words, for good or for bad and becomes a “book thief”. The novel itself is narrated by Death, who is neither good, nor evil, human nor inhuman, but who cannot help but be moved by the story of this girl. He remains aloof during the telling, but the fact that it’s Death telling it at all means the story stands out from the many he sees. He follows Lisle’s progress through life during the war noting her friends, her enemies and telling the story of how she learns to see through the things that seem to be to what is behind the façade. She lives in a world which is increasingly falling apart by the seams, but still manages to find room to be a child while learning how to survive and how to make the most of what she has or hasn’t got.

Saying more would give the story away, but I will mention that the book is a good introduction to both World War II and the Holocaust. It’s sad, but not overly scary, even for youngish children, although there is a bit of non-gratuitous language in it. It also has its happy moments that the reader realizes will never be fully erased, even in the wake of such massive destruction and loss.

Again, it’s a great book which I can recommend to anyone. It might not be a "Classic" yet, but I'm sure it will be with time.


mari said...

I want to read this!

I think I will add it to my christmas wish list. :)

Trish said...

My copy has been passed around so many times that I need a new one! Loved this book and glad you did as well.