Book Report: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

By Morgan Cook (’22)

History has never been so influential. For throughout our years going through the motions of school, we have been taught all about conflict. What defines historical conflict? Who were the victims? Who the perpetrators? Often, we forget that there are more than two sides to every story. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak takes perspective to a completely original level as it brings back the story of Nazi Germany but now from the perspective of Death as a character, watching over World War II and taking a special interest in the fragile life of a Christian orphan. Forced to take part in the horrific traditions and ways of the Nazis, young Liesel Meminger along with her stepfamily do their best to survive, shedding light on the suffering of those living under Hitler’s reign. To Liesel, what motivates her to keep going is learning how to read and uncovering new worlds with every book she can get her hands on. With a daring friend, loving parents, and the drive to continue on, it seems she has finally mastered the art of creating her own bubble to thrive in. However, her life is put at risk when an unexpected visitor appears at her doorstep, begging for help. It will take intellect and valor to do what is right, and Liesel must use what books have taught her the most in order to rescue all that she cherishes – how to use words. In just one novel, Zusak transports readers into this well known time of despair, suffering, and Death, where most lost all hope but some had the courage to look immorality in the eyes and say ‘no’.

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