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Teen Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My name is Jenna. I go to a high school where I’m part of the marching band and the cheerleading squad. I’m pretty busy, but I always find time to read. I’m also very creative and I like doing little crafts out of random things I find.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

When I first started The Book Thief I was skeptical as to whether I would like it or not, because I heard mixed reviews. But don’t let the negative reviews fool you, this book is brilliant to say the least!

The book technically is narrated by Death. Throughout the book, readers learn about Death and his feelings. But Death introduces the readers to a girl named Leisel Meminger. The book basically jumps back and forth from Leisel’s viewpoint and Death’s viewpoint. In the very beginning of the book, I was a tad confused about how this book was written but it’s surprisingly easy to follow.

This book’s setting is in Nazi Germany during WWII. Another reason this book is unique is because it is told from the German’s viewpoint during the war, not the Jews. Zusak proves to readers that not all Germans were horrible people through the main character Leisel and her family and friends.

One important thing to realize about the characters: you will fall in love with them. The characters in The Book Thief are SO loveable. Leisel, a 10 year old girl, moves in with her foster family in the beginning of the book, and she changes everybody’s life. Her papa, Hans Hubermann, is her best friend and closest confidante. Her mama, Rosa Hubermann, completely personifies the phrase ‘tough love’. Another character that will become a readers’ favorite is Rudy Steiner, Leisel’s best friend. Readers will be touched when they see just how powerful and sweet a friendship could be. Leisel will pull readers into her world of hiding Jews, book stealing and word loving, and how hard it is to be happy in Nazi Germany. This young girl could most definitely teach adults valuable life lessons with a mind like hers.

Another important note on this book is that it is extremely sad. If you are one that does not like to get emotional, I would not pick up this book! Since Death is the narrator, he could be rather blunt. In fact, for almost all of the events of the book, Death will tell us the end first, and then fill in the details leading up to the end.

The Book Thief is sure to surprise any reader because of how unique it is. Everything to the main characters, the narrator, and to the way it’s written is different and unique. This book is must-read!!

Interview with Siobhan Vivian, Author of The List

In this video, teen volunteer Jenna interviews local author Siobhan Vivian about her book The List, which chronicles the lives of eight young women who have been identified as each grade’s hottest–or ugliest–girl at their school. Watch it below!

~Joseph
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

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