Do you like history, especially WWII?
Do you like reading books where the characters are put in risky situations?
Do you like reading books where the characters are faced with a tragedy?
If you answered YES to any of those questions, I am sure there is a chance that The Book Thief will intrigue you just as much as it did me!
The Book Thief uses the appeals of children, freedom, and history to grab the readers attention. Markus Zuskar portrays the children as being innocent and cute but they have a hidden fire inside of them to do bigger and better things; from the readers perspective this creates a great personality to read more into. Right at the beginning of the story, Liesel – the main character- is faced with adversity when death takes her little brother. As a reader you feel very sympathetic for Liesel; the author grasps your attention right at the beginning of the book so you keep reading to find out how Liesel continues her life when she has already experienced a great tragedy.
During WWII, Hitler took away all the rights for Jewish citizens living in Germany. Throughout the book, the influence of Nazi power continues to increase and it is very evident as Swastikas are required to be visible and Jews need to be wearing a yellow arm badge. When reading The Book Thief, the Hubermann’s help someone who has gotten their freedoms taken away. As an American citizen, we take for granted all of the simple things we can do, such as being able to choose your own religion. This book really puts you in the shoes of someone who isn’t as fortunate as we are; especially someone who is running from Nazi rule during the 1940s.
WWII is the time period in which The Book Thief takes place. For all you history geeks, you will surely enjoy this book as there are many historically accurate events that take place within Zuskar’s novel. He exposes what it was really like in Germany during WWII. The discrimination towards Jewish citizens was very evident. They were ordered to display yellow flags with the Star of David printed on them in every business, (for some period) in houses, and on arm bands.
“*** THE LAST STOP***
The road of yellow stars
It was a place nobody wanted to stay and look at, but almost everyone did. Shaped like a long, broken arm, the road continued several houses with lacerated windows and bruised walls. The Star of David was painted on their doors. Those houses were almost like lepers. At the very least, they were infected sores on the injured German terrain” (Zusak, 51).