Ron Christiansen's Reviews > The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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's review
May 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: children-s-lit, ya
Read in May, 2011

Overall I like it. While there are holocaust novels for kids in over-abundance (our curricular dictates at work here), I found it refreshing to see WWII from the German perspective. Reading this story we (including children) get to see that simply refusing to support the Nazi's was not an easy decision, often an impossible one for a parent who wanted to keep their own children safe.

Yet, as one of my book clubbers pointed out, the book really didn't even need the Jewish man hiding in the basement. The more I thought about that the more I agreed: it's as if the author flinched, at first focusing us on the hardships of the Germans themselves only to--in the end--rely on the Jew in the basement to build tension and create sympathy. But the German experience itself he builds with Liesel, a foster child, and her new complicated relationship with her foster parents and a young boy, are story enough.

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