The Book Thief

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak Australian author Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich, and about Jews being marched through his mothers small German town.

At the age of 30, Zusak has already asserted himself as one of todays most innovative and poetic novelists. Zusak is the award-winning author of four previous books for young adults: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger

The Book Thief is narrated by Death, who finds the story as he walks through Munich after it has been bombed. Death is a unique narrator in the story.

Most see Death and war as best friends, working hand in hand, but that is not the case in the novel. Death sees war as the boss who asks the impossible, making him work to the brink of exhaustion.

Liesel Meminger is the book thief of the story. Liesel is a foster child growing up in Munich.

She steals her first book, The Gravediggers Handbook at the grave site of her brother. The story is about the power of words and how they can affect a nation and a person

Hitler uses words to assert power and wreak havoc, while Liesel uses words to cope with a difficult life.

Color is a reoccurring motif in Deaths narration of the story. Death associates color with the souls he collects Death also values colors throughout the book as a means of expressing the scene. Colors are a means for escape

from the horror of death, as well as a confirmation of it. Throughout the novel, the discussion of

dying comes to the forefront. This is a very apparent theme due to the fact that the narrator is Death (who even experiences difficulties with the sheer amount of brutality). World War II is also in the background, which denotes that death is all around Liesel. The source of all of Liesel's and Max's nightmares are the deaths of their family

members. Liesel learns the value of having a voice

and knowing how to read. She also realizes that words are what hold the country under the power of Hitler and Nazi party. The theme is recurring: Hans teaches her to read at night, the mayor's wife allows her into the library and Max gives her two stories. As well as being the source of her strife, literature also becomes Liesel's escape

from her bleak life.

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