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Friday, March 28, 2014

Shortest review of Markus Zusak's The Book Thief in the history of the universe.

Zusak, Markus (2005)  The Book Thief  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf.

If you haven't yet, read it.  Now.*

*  That is the whole review.  But if you want don't like being commanded to buy a book and want some reasons, I will include them here in this asterix note.  The voice of the teller is masterful, the story is utterly gripping, and the entire book is moving.  You need to read it.  Your students need to read it.  And there is enough here to sink your teeth into that it would be a great book to study in a high school English class.  There is a lot of history in here too. 
     I could tell you the plot, but there is no way I can do justice to the writing, and without that, the plot won't mean much.  Here, I'll give you some of the opening lines, maybe that will help.

    "First the colors.
           Then the humans.
          That's usually how I see things.
          Or at least, how I try.
               Here is a small fact.
                    You are going to die.
     I am in all truthfulness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestations.  Please, trust me.  I most definitely can be cheerful.  I can be amiable.  Agreeable.  Affable.  And that's only the As.  Just don't ask me to be nice.  Nice has nothing to do with me."

That isn't enough?  Okay look, it is about Germany in World War Two.  It is about a little girl names Liesel.  It is about family and sacrifice and justice.  It may possibly have made me cry. 

Go back to the review above.  Then, please, trust me.  You won't regret it.


  1. And if that's not enough, a grade 7 student of mine just did a review of this book and I quote:
    "I think this book was meant to be read by me... This book is really good book to me and people in the world."

  2. I'd like to recommend the audiobook version of this book. The superb narrator brings something extra to an already amazing book.