Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review: The Book Thief

When I was a child, I read just about every WWII and Holocaust novel I could find {fun fact: I've never read Anne Frank. It's on the list!}. The Devil's Arithmetic, If I Should Die Before I Wake, Summer of My German Soldier. I've watched the Pianist, Schindler's List, Band of Brothers. My entire 8th grade year in Hebrew school was dedicated to Holocaust study. After awhile, I got burnt out. I stopped reacting to the horrific things I read. I didn't cry.

That changed when I visited Yad Vashem {translation: Hand of God, the Holocaust Remembrance Museum in Jerusalem}, but I still didn't want to read a Holocaust novel. Until this one.

{This commemorates a teacher who went to die with his students at

Auschwitz so the children wouldn't die alone.}

Y'all, I couldn't put it down. This novel is told from the point of Death {or the Angel never really know} who follows one girl's life. Adopted by a couple on Himmel street, Leisel has a hard time in Nazi Germany. Her father isn't a member {and doesn't really want to be}, she's in love with a neighborhood boy {who is in love with her}, and she and her parents hid a Jew in their basement. And she steals books, the first one on the day her younger brother dies {incidentally, on the way to her foster parents}.

We follow Leisel on this journey, yes, but Death also takes us to death camps, the battle fields, towns that have been bombed. It's somber and sad the entire way through, but fulfilling in a way that other novels are not. We get a perspective of many kinds of Germans and how much they suffered during the war. But, especially, we ache for Leisel.

This book is just as good as everyone says and quite the tearjerker. I was sitting for a family and bawling like a baby right along with the two year old! We were a mess. But it was worth it. Read this novel.

Also, don't forget I have a giveaway running! $25 to Target can be YOURS!


  1. This does sound like a good read! I'm trying to avoid tearjerkers right now while I'm hormonal though. haha :)

  2. This is on my list to read. It sounds so good!

  3. This has been on my list for a while now, thanks for the review!

  4. i have never read it, but i do recall it being an option when i was in high school....i just might have to check it out for real now :)

    happy friday!

  5. Not really my cup of tea but great review, nonetheless!

  6. This is my favorite book at the moment! I loved it so much that I wrote a Donor's Choose grant to get copies for my students. I have taught the book now three times and each time we have had to pass the tissue box around in class as my students begin crying. It is so easy to connect to the characters, despite the fact that we all know their fate in advance. And when the story finally ends, my students are so sad for the unit to be over and often ask if they can read it again. I too, would highly recommend this book!

  7. This is on my to-read list! Though I didn't realize it was a a tearjerker, and don't think I've ever cried reading a book... yet! I've heard so many great things about it- thanks for your sharing!