Monday, September 14, 2009

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak
ISBN: 978 0375831003

young adult fiction

This book is haunting and sad. It's written from the perspective of "Death," a poetic narrator who watches one particular German girl throughout the second world war.

I have mixed feelings about the book.

On the one hand I think it's important for children and everyone to know about the Holocaust and about the atrocities that were done during that war. On the other hand it's hard to know which details to tell which age. I would definitely say this book is for at least 13 year olds and should be read with an adult who can explain some of the themes and issues. It's very mature but I can see that some details were left out so that it might be okay for a teenager. It's definitely got more details about the Holocaust than Number the Stars, or The Hiding Place, but it's not nearly as horrific as Schindler's List.

An interesting perspective in this book was that not all of the Germans were entirely supportive of Hitler. The author definitely treated the plight of the Jews with respect while at the same time helping the reader realize that life was really crummy for Germans during the war as well. I appreciated that the main characters helped hide a Jew and feed some people even with the threat of punishment.

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