The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The book thief is narrated by Death. The very Death, which makes the mankind fear. It speaks to you while trying to explain the kind of work it did back in the period of Nazi Germany. It talks about a little girl Liesel and boy Rudy who were the future of Germany called the Nazi Youth.
War cripples and swallows everyone and everything associated with it. We have read so much about the sufferings and sacrifices of the German Jews in the WW 2, but this is the story of the other side. The middle and lower class Germans who faced isolation, hunger, remorse, guilt and shortage of everything during the war years. Sons and fathers were sent to the war, and many felt the pressure to become a member of Nazi party even when they didn’t want to. This story revolves around Liesel who likes to read books but her foster parents cannot afford to buy her books due to their impoverish life, so she steals them. The first book which she picked up from the snow-clad graveyard was “The Gravedigger’s Handbook”. She didn’t ever know how to read that time, fascinated by the cover she tucked it inside her clothes and said the final goodbye to her little brother who they just buried. Over the period of time, she stole many books, read them and learned from them. They were her prized possessions and her best friends. Her foster parents who were struggling to survive the war tried to get by every day with a secret buried in their hearts and the neighborhood boy called Rudy who loved to run and steal food whenever he got a chance. Wait! How can there be a story based in Nazi Germany and no Jewish Character? There is and his name is MAX.
The characters are memorable and the book leaves a deep impact on your mind. It is definitely a page-turner and I would recommend it, to teens and adults. It talks about reality and would really inculcate the meaning of life in every reader’s mind. It tells us not all Germans were enamored by the hypnotizing words of Hitler. There were many who were helping the Jews in every way they could, risking their lives and sharing their bread. It is a beautiful story of Compassion, Sacrifice, and Courage.
To ponder ~”Mankind is not evil but yes sometimes we lose our path”