The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I became interested in The Book Thief after reading an introductory summary of it online. Narrated by Death, the book takes place in Nazi Germany during World War II describing the life of a young German girl named Liesel. With both her parents taken away for being communists and losing her brother to Death, Liesel recovers from her traumatization by reading and learning new words with her foster father. With an obsession over books, she spends her entire childhood stealing books with her best friend, Rudy. With a choice that could jeopardize the entire family, Hans agrees to refuge Max, a runaway Jew. As Liesel’s story continues, she fights the horrors of the holocaust: air raids, forced Nazi conscriptions, and her bond with Max. The book strongly resembles Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, but what I found unique about this book is its perspective. Writing about Germany’s perspective during World War II is something very rare that I came across, making me deeply absorbed into reading this book.
I believe that the purpose for this book is to end human violence. We live in a society with scattered outbreaks, threats, and hatred. These major factors that can lead to serious wars, possibly even World War III. This message is important because Zusak’s resurrection of the holocaust shows how fearful it is to live during a war, even in the most discrete places like Himmel Street. After reading this book, I presume that Zusak achieved his purpose through this book. With human violence is so ferocious, Zusak wrote this book in hope that it will raise awareness of our actions. By experiencing the holocaust firsthand with Liesel and Death, I was able to visualize what war truly meant: living hell.
Zusak uses very effective techniques to deliver his message. What I think helped lead up to this accomplishment was his careful selection of characters, especially Death. We think of Death as an abstract object, but Zusak turns it into a...