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The Book Thief

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak Read the full review on my blogIt follows nine year old Liesel growing up in Nazi Germany from 1939 and as a consequence of this, there is definitely a lot of depth to the book. Depth, not just in the story but in the emotions as this is a time in history that would have affected so many different people in so many different ways. The emotions in The Book Thief were raw and as realistic as it could get for a 9 year old girl growing up with a foster family, she has already gone through a couple of traumas so far in just getting to the house, let alone the rest of the book during the war. I loved each and every one of the characters, they each brought something different to the table and they showed the true multi-faceted nature of the human being. Liesels foster mama in particular was a loud, aggressive person who swore to no end, but she was caring, and loving, and she tried to do what was best for her family and neighbours – this shows what certain situations leads you to be like, you need to be strong for others around you. This is one of the many lessons that you learnt in this book.Liesel’s development through this book was wonderful. She started off being a scared little scrawny child who had gone through things at 9 that nobody wants to go through in their entire life, she turns into a more confident teenager (although still scrawny). Her attitude changes throughout the book and due to the fact that so many things are going on in her life, instead of taking them to heart and going in on herself, she uses it to make her stronger person. The fact that she was learning to read and write was also a staple point for this development as she felt as though she was doing something with her life and wasn’t years behind her peers as she once was.As is quite obvious, the idea of ‘books’ was a powerful thing, and the fact that Liesel was a book thief was even stronger. Books had ideas, theories, history and so much more in them in Nazi Germany, so much so that Hitler wanted to burn any that he didn’t agree with – this in itself makes the symbol stand out. Liesel, although unknowing of it herself, had the power to change people, give them ideas, make them think about what was really happening, and this is something that can be thrown into the present day, let alone just in the time of Nazi Germany. Books aren’t really as popular in a knowledge sense, as they were a little while ago; people are choosing technology, games, social media, instead of books and history and it’s starting to get forgotten. People are forgetting things that have happened and in order to not make the same mistakes twice, people need to know what happened in order to save themselves from doing just that. I believe this book is one of those books which puts that realisation in peoples minds and brings forward the idea that books really are powerful things.