First of all, thanks for Chelsea for recommending this book so highly, and thanks to my husband for buying it way before I ever knew I wanted to read it so that all I had to do was take it off the shelf in our bedroom. I'm not one who usually likes to buy books, preferring to check them out from the library, but I am now very glad that we own this one.
Found in the book, written by the narrator (who is death):
For me, reading this book made me endlessly thankful to be alive, living in America, at a time when life is generally easy, pleasant, and there is much joy to be found every day. The characters, jew and non-jew alike, who lived in Germany during Hitler's reign, suffered greatly in many ways and their lives are brilliantly depicted through Zusak's unique writing style. Their ability to find joy while in the midst of such suffering and oppressive leadership was remarkable and inspiring.
It’s 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
On the ration cards of Nazi Germany, there was no listing for punishment, but everyone had to take their turn. For some it was death in a foreign country during the war. For others it was poverty and guilt when the war was over, when six million discoveries were made throughout Europe.
As I read this book, main characters Liesel, Rudy, Rosa, Hans, and Max were a significant part of my life. I thought about them even when I wasn't reading. I'll admit, as the story came to an end, I cried like I haven't in a long time. Even though they were fictional characters, they represented millions of people who lived during that terrible period in history.
In this story, words represent joy, life and freedom. And while reading, I found within myself a new appreciation for joy, life and freedom.
**In this post, I mentioned that the narrator of this book is death. This is a very important detail to remember as you begin the book, because otherwise the beginning can be very confusing. Another thanks to Chelsea for giving me that info.