Liesel's Important Lesson

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A book review over The Book Thief by Markus Zusack.

Submitted: April 28, 2014

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Submitted: April 28, 2014



Liesel's Important Lesson


The Book Thief by Markus Zusack is a phenominal book. It follows the story of Liesel Meminger, a young German girl who is about to encounter some of the hardest times of her life. Liesel is a recent orphan who has to start her life over in Molching, Germany. The book continually progresses through Liesel's early teen years and all of the struggles she has to face. She was illiterate, malnourished, and a theif but she learned to overcome it all. By the end of the book she had hid a Jew in her basement, learned to love those around her, and then had everybody she cared about ripped from her fingers.

 My favorite aspect of The Book Thief was that not a single detail was sugar coated. I got to read firsthand how devastating it was to a family to be labeled a Jew lover, and all the consequences that came from the decision. Every character had their own personal battle to face, and none of them were pleasant. There was always a gritty, unwanted truth to be faced, and because of that I could thoroughly understand how they were all affected.  

I have somewhat of a personal connection to the story because I am of German descent. While I may not know a whole lot about my ancestry, I can still revel in the fact that someone, somewhere in my family was in Germany around the time of The Holocaust. It is because of this that I feel closer to the story. 

Even though The Book Thief is a work of fiction, it is very clear that it closely relates to real life. Millions of Jews were forced into concentration camps during The Holocaust, and many more were hiding in basements in hope of staying alive. Molching happened to be one of the poorer parts of Germany, and like many people today who are struggling, they did everything they could to live day to day. Also, there are many people who love many different things, and are willing to do anything to protect them. That ideal was capitalized in The Book Thief.

The story had a wonderful development. Liesel starts out as an uneducated orphan whose brother died on the way to their foster home. She ends the story alone again, but she was now older, wise, and more aware of how the real world was. Liesel grew so much as a person through all of her trials and tribulations, and it had made her stronger in every sense of the word. Could a weak person stand to be pubically whipped by a Nazi? The only reason she was whipped was because she refused to not to say hello to her Jewish friend. 

Markus Zusack mainly used three types of literary elements: personification, simile, and metaphor. The metaphor "Curtains of rain were drawn around the car.," is a prime example of describing how the scenery was when Liesel was expected to go join her foster parents in her new life. Liesel also knew how to describe people she met, "A bathrobe answered the door." It's common knowledge that a bathrobe cannot answer the door, so it's known that it was in fact a woman who had opened the door.

I strongly believe that others should read The Book Thief. How amazing is it that the hero of the book starts out as a poor, orphaned German girl. Liesel grew so much in the matter of years that the story took place in, and she turned into a thoughtful woman. She did what it took to save what she loved, and when she couldn't save something she mourned. However, she moved on.

Liesel had faced more destruction and torment than most of us have, and it would be wise of us to learn from her.

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