The Book Thief – To Be Read pile – 50BookPledge

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Unfortunately this book came up at a time when I was stretched thin and unable to remain focused. This was a book club read, but I was unable to finish it in time for our monthly meeting, and I didn’t want spoilers as I was really enjoying this read. So I missed out on food, wine and chit chat for June.


It’s such a great read, which I picked up intending to read with my children soon. The appeal for me is in the portrayal of life during the Holocaust from a perspective rarely heard about. Not only do we learn more about what it was like to be someone sympathetic to the cause of Jewish people during this time, but we also learn about how words were used to tear people down.


It was uplifting still, to become engrossed in the family (and extended family) life of the characters. To see how, even what was not necessarily a conscious decision to stand up against the Nazis, was still a dangerous choice… to simply stand for belief in humanity. What a terrible lesson to learn early in life: that showing compassion and caring for those most unfortunate is punishable and will turn many friends against you.


Through Liesel and her friendships we get a grasp of life and its lessons. Liesel is a likable character who has had a lot of tough breaks, beginning with being placed in foster care after losing her brother to illness during the train journey to the foster parents’ home. She grows to love her foster father especially, who shows her that the true compassion he has for her extends throughout life even to the Jews who are targeted by the Nazis. Her best friend Rudy is full of mischief and keeps her grounded in what childhood they have. Her Jewish friend Max teaches Leisel an appreciation for life even in both of their difficult positions. I especially like the relationship formed with the mayor’s wife who in her strange way encouraged Liesel’s love of books.




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About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two