It's 1943, Hitler is on a rampage and Death is busy. Which is just one of the reasons why The Book Thief is a must-read.
Death is the book's narrator and he, she or whatever, has a great story to tell young adult readers as well as older grown ups. As Death itself says:
Yes, I have seen a great many things in this world. I attend the greatest disasters and work for the greatest villains.
But then there are other moments.
There's a multitude of stories (a mere handful, as I had previously suggested) that I allow to distract me as I work, just as the colors do. I pick them up in the unluckiest, unlikeliest places and I make sure to remember them as I go about my work. The Book Thief is one such story.
Liesel Meminger is The Book Thief, one of the best young female characters I have had the pleasure to meet. She's vulnerable but strong. She is damaged, but like the best people, she has gone through hell and come back a kick-ass heroine. Aside from Liesel, I fell in love with so many wonderful characters in this book. I love Hans, Rudy, Max, Ilsa and even Rosa. They made me cry buckets.
Don't be daunted by my mention of Death as narrator and the crying-of-buckets. Markus Zusak's young adult novel is unsettling and at times heartbreaking. When you're done with it though, you'll realize how awesome it is just to be alive. Speaking of… this 4-year-old has a minor obsession about death and mamas growing old.
Blame it on November trips to the cemetery and a creepy book by Robert Munsch. I Love You Forever, anyone? She is intrigued but also freaked-out about death. "Mamas are not supposed to die!" One day, my dear Chicha you have got to read The Book Thief.