" 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 . . . "
Set in WWII Germany, narrarated by Death, The Book Thief tells the tale of Liesel Meminger. Liesel steals her first book at her brother's burial just before her mother delivers her to a foster home. Devastated to be separated from her family, she finds solace in her foster father, Hans Huberman, who teaches her to read. Liesel is soon stealing from Nazi book-burnings and the mayor's wife's library. As life on Himmel Street is turned upside down, Liesel finds herself sharing the power of words with her neighbors during bomb raids and her basement with a Jewish man.
I obviously didn't know it at the time, but this book is why I learned to read. It's one of those books I immediately want to reread as soon as I finish the last page. I don't even know how to review it. I guess I should start by saying I am a WWII/Holocaust fanatic. I first read Lois Lowry's Number the Stars in fifth grade and have been hooked ever since. I was also a Religious Studies major in college with a concentration in Judaism. I'm hoping these personal facts will give you an idea of what drew me to this book and sucked me in from the very beginning. Of course, rave reviews and beautiful writing didn't hurt either.
Liesel is the type of character you want to pick up off the page and cradle. She is so innocent and real, and I felt like I just wanted to protect her. Hans Huberman? Gold, solid gold. He's become one of my favorite book characters of all time. I really don't want to say much more because I don't want to spoil a single thing. It's just something you need to experience for yourself. So run, don't walk, and get a copy immediately.