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Archive 08-19 GR Discussions > The Book Thief (*possible spoilers*)

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message 1: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
Thread for this book


message 2: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
BTW I just finished this book. WOW! I really liked it.


message 3: by Mandy (new)

Mandy I read it over a year ago and liked it, I like the way it was narrated.


message 4: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (sandila) | 75 comments I just started it yesterday, on page 80 ?, it's kinds strange but good. I feel so bad for the little girl. I'll keep going.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I may add this to my 'to-read' list, but I think I may sit this one out! (I'm tired after all that's been going on this month!) I'm definately doing July's read though!


message 6: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (missfryer) | 532 comments OMG...so glad this is the pick for JUNE!! I can finally participate in a chat :)


message 7: by April (new)

April (contusions96) :( I just reserved this one at the library and I'm #28 on the list! Please keep your fingers crossed that I get it in time to read it! :)


message 8: by Monica (new)

Monica (mrssupert) | 2 comments Ok I just put my hold at the library - hopefully I get it by June


message 9: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Hickman (bkread2) | 233 comments Can you believe the main Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Tulsa did not have a copy for sale! I took a list of various books from my reading groups and I was to send them to my girlfriend in the Navy stationed in Brasil. They actually did not have a copy of several of them. Which I find appalling, especially since most were classics by authors like Anne Bronte, Sir Arthur Connan Doyle, etc. I typically go to Borders but this was on the way home from my tai chi class. Now I no why I do not shop there that often. I also could not find anyone or even a computer to search for assistance!!! URGHH!!!


message 10: by Emily (new)

Emily (ejfalke) | 576 comments I read this book earlier this year and absolutely loved it. I think it is incredible. It's a unique view on the Holocaust. I will say that I don't think this is really a YA book. I am teaching the Holocaust to my 8th graders right now, and I gave the book to an avid reader who loves what we are learning about. She got about half-way through and knew she wasn't old enough to really "get it." I've heard of other students reading it for a high school assignment who didn't really get it either. Anyways, sorry to add boring teacher babble. School's almost over! Plus, I only have one more time to cry through the ending of "Life Is Beautiful" as my last class finishes watching it in a few minutes. Have a great holiday everyone!


message 11: by April (new)

April (contusions96) Yes! I just got a call from the library that my copy is in.
Emily- I LOVE that movie. "Life is Beautiful" is such a moving story.


message 12: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (andreag) | 74 comments Whoohoo! Got my order from Powells yseterday. It included The Book Thief and The Knitting Circle, plus Enchanted April and a short story collection (all on sale!) for upcoming group reads in another Goodread group. I think I'm getting overly ambitious, I hope I can keep up.


message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) | 467 comments Ok, for those of you who've read this: How Holocausty is it? Seriously, this is a subjectmatter (as all wars) that I have A LOT of trouble stomaching. 5 Quarters was very near the line that I hesitate to cross. Please advise...

Thanks, gals.


message 14: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
What did you find too 'holocausty' about 5 quarters? I just remember rotten kids.

It isn't Scheindlers List level of the Holocaust but it does take place during WWII in Germany. That is the backdrop of the story. The story itself follows a little girl living in Germany during that time but not ala Anne Frank. She isn't Jewish* so it isn't about her persecution during the war but it is how the war effects her life.



*(I have a question there but won't post it in this thread)


message 15: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) | 467 comments Oh, I just wrote a long (and somewhat rambling) response but accidentally deleted it. Ugh...

Perhaps I should replace the word 'holocausty' with the word 'violent' to be more accurate. Or maybe even 'alluding to violence' would be better. I'm so weak-minded when it comes to that stuff. It doesn't sound like I'm criticizing the Chicks on Lit choices does it??? OMG, I seriously hope not!!!!!!!!! Far from it, in fact! (Ugh, I should escape now...)

Thanks for the assessment Tera! Very much appreciated, as always. :)


message 16: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
LOL Amanda you make me smile!
A) you dont sound weak-minded. I think we all know you're not!
B) it doesn't sound like youre critisizing a choice
C) Even if you DID critisize a choice that's perfectly okay. There is no way every book will appeal to every reader.

Ok now that I know youre definition a little better I think I can be a better help. The narrator of the story is Death. Like Death death. Like Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey Death. (Okay not that cheesey but yeah death is a character and the narator) So there is death in the book. There is no rape or violence like that. There are victims of war and I did shed some tears. (although to be fair I cry during Hallmark commercials and Little House on the Praire). I didn't think anything was graphic. It is considered a Young Adult's book if that helps you gauge it.
I would say pick it up if you get the chance at the library or something and if it becomes too much shut the book and go to something else.


message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) | 467 comments Ok, thanks Tera! I'll keep some pictures of Unicorns and Rainbows handy just in case! (oh, and a pint of ice cream)

And I love the idea of Death being a character. Very cool!


message 18: by April (new)

April (contusions96) Ok, I'm about 30 pages or so in to the book and I am really annoyed by the way it is written. I love the idea that Death is the narrator but I hate the random "announcements" or whatever they're called. Does it get better or should I expect to be annoyed for the entire book?


message 19: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
LOL! They were distracting to me at the beginning too. They either get better or I became numb to them.


message 20: by Kim (new)

Kim (kmdoubleday) I'm a sucker for stuff like that.


message 21: by MJ (new)

MJ I just got it today so i will start it tomorrow


message 22: by April (new)

April (contusions96) Thanks Tera! I read a little bit more last night and they weren't quite as annoying.


message 23: by Emily (new)

Emily (ejfalke) | 576 comments I LOVED the "announcements." They do continue, but I think you get used to them and see how they add to the story. I think it really made the "voice" unique.
I love the forthright and frank (is that redundant?) way the book is written. It is elegant (in the scientific sense) and eloquent without being diffuse. Also, does anyone else obsessed with reading ahead (the last paragraph of the chapter, the last page of the book)? I am, but I didn't have to in this book because at times our narrator would simply tell us what would happen in that section, and then start telling the story. :)


message 24: by Kim (new)

Kim (kmdoubleday) I can't read ahead. I've found as I get older that I cherish my surprises and try to eek out whatever enjoyment I can get. I just realized I wrote 'enjoyment' within the context of this book about a horrible horrible time. I'm sorry. I've got a lot of NyQuil in me right now.

Death is a great character. He has many many great lines.


message 25: by MJ (new)

MJ I just finished the book and loved it....it that the right word can you love a book that made you ache inside? Regardless it was wonderfully written and and amazingly touching story


message 26: by April (new)

April (contusions96) I finished the book on my lunch hour and I can't stop thinking about it. I loved it! but it also broke my heart at times. I don't remember who nominated it for a club read, but thank you. It was definitely one of the best books I have read in a long time.


message 27: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
I'm glad you kept with it I know the little notes were annoying you in the beginning. I still think of the characters in it and I've been done with it for sometime now. I know they have this marked as Young Adult fiction in our library and I really doubt I would have grasped all the concepts of the book had I read it at 16 the way I do now.
I know there are some heartstring moments but overall I didn't walk away from it feeling depressed.


message 28: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) | 467 comments Reading is slooooooowwwwwww going for me. I don't want to miss a single word. I'm liking The Book Thief very much, but I'm not even fifty pages into it yet. :) I'm getting antsy about the heartbreak parts, April. I'd better brace myself!


message 29: by April (new)

April (contusions96) Its not so bad. I found it to be mostly uplifting how resilient people are and the hell we can take. The whole Holocaust issue is heartbreaking...


message 30: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
I'm glad you said that April. I was able to get the same thing out of it. Yeah I know there are some sad things in it and very touching and it pulls on your heartstrings but making it through. Choosing to live life and see the good that is around even with all the ugly around was a strong message to me. I walked away feeling love for the book and not depressed or overcome.


message 31: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (missfryer) | 532 comments I didn't find the breaks annoying...I thought it was nice to get so many points of view.
I think it will get better for you, though.


message 32: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (missfryer) | 532 comments well, I just realized the point of view doesn't change really...
y'all know what I mean I hope! :)


message 33: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) I read this book a few months back and it was the best YA book I have ever read. My favorite characters were Liesl and Rudy. I so wanted the ending to be where they got married and grew old together. I'm a sucker for happy endings.


message 34: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) | 467 comments Poor Rudy. :(


message 35: by Chris (new)

Chris Thorington | 3 comments I teach 8th grade too. It was one of my students who recommended that book to me. I agree though that it is pretty heavy for middle level. I also show Life is Beautiful at the end of this unit.


message 36: by Chris (new)

Chris Thorington | 3 comments For me it's more "holocaust" that 5 quarters, but I only found two sections to be really emotional in that regard. It's worth a try


message 37: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
I also loved this book. I thought it was a cleverly told story. I like how it wasn't all wrapped up pretty and perfect at the end.
I always wondered did she stay with the Mayor's wife? Did she stay with Rudy's family? And for some reason something inside me always thought that she might grow up to marry the man she helped to hide away for so long.


Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 369 comments for sure one of my all time favorite books. such memorable characters and such an interesting narrator and storyline.


message 39: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments I loved this book too. It was so well done. If you are looking for another book that was written in this era, I just finished Skeletons of The Feast and loved it. Another really well done book.


message 40: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 94 comments I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to add my input. I haven't read The Book Thief (yet), but from the sound of it, it seems like many of us would enjoy Briar Rose as well. I really enjoyed that! It's about the granddaughter of a survivor and after her death, the granddaughter tries to track down the grandmother's "story". I read it a few years ago, but I think it brings some new perspectives to the Holocaust, including other people who were persecuted by the Nazis.

Although it is listed at YA, and I read it for my YA Lit class (I'm also hope to be English teacher one of these days!), there are some passages that are a bit graphic and unfortunately, I can imagine many parents being upset and/or bothered by it (it involves homosexuality).

Yet, I digress... I really enjoyed it and thought you'd want to know!


message 41: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 1274 comments Joy, I think you will enjoy this book as well. It is so totally quirky in the way it is written. The content ultimately very adult at times, but it would also be great YA Lit class.

Now you have my curiousity about Briar Rose. It is such a fascinating topic. I always seem to be relating books to what is going on in my life. However, years after my mother passed away, my father remarried. They were both 80 yrs. old at the time! She was born in Germany and immigrated as an adult. Her denial of the Holocaust was a real eye opener. It angered me at first until I was told it was somewhat typical of her generation. At the same time, The Book Thief helped me to understand how difficult it must have been for her to acknowledge what was really going on or to have the courage or ability to fight it. She lost brothers in the British bombing. She saw it all from an entirely different perspective to be sure. Doesn't excuse, but it explains some... Anyway, thanks for the recommendation... always on the look out as my daughter is in college to be an English teacher :^)


message 42: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 94 comments Thanks for the tip. I guess I can sort of empathize with the denial- it must be some sort of coping mechanism. A colleague of mine's grandmother was a survivor who moved here and eventual was placed into an insane asylum because of what I'm assuming we now know as depression. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but still what people must have seen and heard...I can't imagine the horror. It might sound vapid to say this, but I have German heritage (generations back, they emigrated here long before WWII), but I have that Aryan look- blond hair, blue eyes. It sounds odd, but some people have hated be solely based on that- because I am the "ideal" for their twisted world. I can't exactly put it into words at the moment, but it's amazing what I have heard in the past, some of the hatred people have felt towards me just because of my eyes...

Anyway! I hope your daughter is very successful... outside of New York, that is! It's extremely competitive here as it is! I do wish her the best of luck and if she needs any advice, let me know.


message 43: by Yoby (new)

Yoby (yobs) | 67 comments I Just found this book again in my upsxtairs linen closet (now you know what my cabinet5s and closets are really full of.

I am still going through was and peace, and may use these other books when I need a break, but I am really into this Russian history thing, and finally putting together what the rest of the world was doing at the time of War and P3eace, which is like throwing a puzzle onto the floor and it all of a sudden puts itself together. Ayone else have that experience. But I did love this book. Enough so that we lost it's dust jacket and the pages have coffee spilt on them. That is the mark of a really worth while book, if I've beat it to hell and back, and spilled coffe and grapejuice and spaghetti sauce on it, That's my keeper.


message 44: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 1274 comments I am so hearing you Yoby! Love-marks... when you are so absorbed you pass your days with book in hand, oblivious as time just slips away. I really did love this book too. Wept several times towards the end. I put my 20-something daughter - the English major - on an Amtrak heading out west for two weeks. I happened to stuff this book in her carry-on. I hope she will finally give it some time and maybe leave some of her own love-marks on it. I think she has really been missing out on some great reads because she is so bogged down with stuff she has to read for classes. Have fun with your Russian floor puzzle!


message 45: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (manda_82) I just finished reading The Book Thief and really enjoyed it. Glad I read the last part at home as I teared up a little!! I thought Liesel was such a great character and loved the different relationships she formed with those around her during such troubled times.


message 46: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinsullivan) | 37 comments This is definitely an exceptional book - I question it being YA though - I know the main character and some of her friends are under 18 but the subject matter and style doesn't read like a YA. It really is much different then say...Diary of Anne Frank.

-- Robin The Crown Conspiracy | Avempartha | Nyphron Rising (Oct 2009)


message 47: by Jen (new)

Jen (nekokitty) | 43 comments Robin wrote: "This is definitely an exceptional book - I question it being YA though - I know the main character and some of her friends are under 18 but the subject matter and style doesn't read like a YA. It ..."

I totally agree. I love this book, and would recommend it to pretty much any adult in a heartbeat.

I want my kids to read it someday (they are 1 and 5 right now), but I don't think that it's something that a 9-12 year old can fully grasp. To me, YA is something that a 9-12 year old should be able to read.


message 48: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle I agree, I don't think my children could grasp the magnitude of what was written.


message 49: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 1274 comments You are so right. I don't think of this book as limited to young adult. However, from a teachers' perspective, young adult is more like 14-18 year olds. I think the quirky nature of writing would keep interest. The subject matter for high school English classes would be a great cross curriculuar study to Holocaust history. They need good, thought-provoking literature. Grasping the magnitude comes from age and experience. I may have read Anne Frank in 7th grade, but my memories and thoughts evolved at various stages in my life.


message 50: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinsullivan) | 37 comments For me personally I kind of think that readers in the 14-18 are more "adult" than "YA". I tend to break things down along PG-13 lines. Its interesting how everyone puts a different age on YA but for me I think 10 - 12/13 ish.


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