May 222014

This book should be a prerequisite for any history course. The Book Thief taught me more about Hitler and his reign as well as what is happening today than any of my history courses were able to.

Although a fictional novel there’s really no proof that the situations described with such heart breaking wisdom didn’t happen. Liesel, the main character, was a young girl I could easily relate to and sympathize with, even if I didn’t live in her era.

The first paragraph captured me as I have not before read a book from the view point of death or the grim reaper. Zusak’s authority of words and insight in ensuring his readers would cry and cringe with him is brilliant. Mastering the art of foreshadowing, even though this book is huge, I needed to read it as quickly and with such focus it took me a while.

“In years to come, he would be a giver of bread, not a stealer – proof again of the contradictory human being. So much good, so much evil. Just add water.”

Quotes such as this one above had me take my time and read it again. Others had me shutting the book and pondering our own existence – to me, that makes a book like this amazing. And, even when finished, I am left thinking about all the families who dealt with finding themselves in the time of Hitler. And how it all relates to the lives we’re living now.

Be aware, be yourself and think / speak freely. Be the person that takes and gives bread, depending on where you are.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland
author of Sending You Sammy, Brain Tales – Volume One and Arm Farm

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