PBS Great Reads Review: The Book Thief

Book Thief CoverMy summer reading pick is “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak! This is a historical fiction novel set in World War II-era Germany. The story is centered around Liesel Meminger, a young German girl who goes to live with foster parents. Liesel is brave in the face of great loss and despair, and as she grows older she begins to piece together the horrors of the war around her and where she stands in the midst of it all. Soon after learning to read, she falls in love with books and recognizes the value of words, and the power and threat they hold when living in Nazi Germany.

The author, Markus Zusak, is a master of the written word and each of his novels surprises me in a new way. “The Book Thief” is no exception to this. Though you may have read World War II-era historical fiction novels before, this one is unique in that it is narrated by Death. Zusak presents Death unexpectedly – with a sense of humor and a growing weariness with his job. I implore you to give this book a try, even (or especially) if you’re not already a fan of historical fiction. There’s something in this novel for everyone. Enjoy!

– Megan Briggs, Scottville Library Staff