The Book Thief (Provo Book Club Selection)

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From Amazon: Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when she’s roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative.

My thoughts: I greatly enjoyed this book because I liked all of the characters. It’s a horrible time where neighbors are turning each other in and even children are turning in parents, but these characters are just good.

Leisel is a strong girl who has endured too much sadness by the time she is nine and is given to a foster family. Thank goodness she finds strength and love from her foster father.

I love her foster father: Papa. He is a magnificient man. His kindness and his fairness are without bounds, even in the most difficult of circumstances. It gets him in a lot of trouble, and you just love him more for it.

I cried through the last 50 pages, but I loved who came to the Police Station for Liesel. When they came I thought, alright, everything is going to be fine. And then her surprise visit to the Tailor’s shop — does she marry him?? I guess only one person knows, and he’s not talking.


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