Book Snails Book Group discussion

The Book Thief
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ARCHIVED > Quarterly Book Discussion "The Book Thief" Question #6: Did the author conveyor the time period well? Did it feel like he did his homework?

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Julie (julie_prewett) Question #6

Kelsey I think so! He repeatedly mentioned how the part in Molching where everyone lived was poor, to the point where the kids started stealing food, and the fact that no one could afford presents or clothes or food. I feel like in WWII fiction books, the poverty is never mentioned. But I'm reality it got so bad in Germany that they had to fill their food with wood pulp to give it substance. They used their money as wallpaper because inflation rendered the money as useless. So I really enjoyed that Zusack added the poverty in, and the black market and food rations, because I think, in terms of WWII fiction, it was refreshing.

I was actually surprised how little detail went into the surroundings though! It would mention fields and roads and trees and the river, but I think the reader really had to picture it for themselves, because not a lot of context was given, like what everything looked like, or where it was. I didn't mind that, though!

Julie (julie_prewett) It definitely has a feeling of poverty-stricken Germany. The food is so scarce and people resort to stealing and bartering for food. Kids ate 3 week old cookies as if they were the greatest find around.

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