Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Book Thief (copy)

Chunkster Challenge #1

I would like to introduce you to my newest friend. Her name is Liesel Meminger, and she is nine-years-old. Liesel lives in a little town called Molching outside of Munich, Germany. She stays at 33 Himmel Street, which is the home of Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Himmel is German for heaven, but her conditions are anything but.

When I first meet Liesel she is traveling with her mother and little brother. It is very sad. The little family is forced to leave their home because the missing father is known to be Kommunist. The whole trip is to ensure the children’s safety by placing them with foster parents until trouble dies down.

The only thing, trouble is just beginning, and it will be years before safety is felt. I didn’t tell you my new friend lives in Hitler’s 1930s Germany.

Tragedy strikes the family early in the story. Liesel’s little brother doesn’t make the trip. He actually dies during the night and has to be buried in Munich.

It is at this point in Liesel's life that she obtains a nickname. During the funeral she discovers a little book on the ground. It’s a silly little book, not necessarily a page turner, describing a 12 step program to dig graves. It obviously belongs to the gravedigger, but all Liesel sees is shiny gold lettering. She cannot read. So, the title means nothing to her; it is just an object that symbolizes her brother’s last day. She becomes the book thief.

The book thief, like many a thief, strikes at the most opportune time. Her second opportunity arrives when the town gathers for a book burning event. As a Hitler Youth she sticks around to clean up after the fire. To her amazement five books don’t burn, and she procures one when no one is looking. Unfortunately, in Nazi Germany someone is always looking.

I met the book thief during a recent bout with a nasty virus. She is the main character of Markus Zusak’s book, The Book Thief. It was nice to have such an engaging book during an awful sickness. Books mean so much more when a person is ill.

Listen to the Prologue as told to us by the narrator, Death: “It’s just a small story really, about, among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.” This “small story,” written for young adults, will move anyone with a pulse.


Bookfool said...

Hi Maggie!

I can finally visit you. Yea!! I loved The Book Thief, but you probably already know that since I've raved about it endlessly - it was my hands-down favorite in 2006. I'm sorry you had a virus when you read it. Are you better? Glad you enjoyed it. I'm always envious of anyone who gets to read this book for the first time; it was that special to me.

maggie moran said...

I'm getting better everyday, thanks bookfool. Did you know he published the book for adults first? That was a very insightful editor who knew it would be a hit in YA form. :)

Isabel said...

I love it also.

I am glad that you are better. I have been coughing a lot, but it seems to be gone now.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite books. Glad that you enjoyed it as well. Hope you're feeling better.

maggie moran said...

Thanks guys! I have a little touch of ear infection, otherwise I'm my ole self. ;)

Bookfool said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better. :) No, I didn't know The Book Thief was published for adults, first. I thought it was a pretty adult theme, but I just watched a little mini special about YA novels, last night (part of the extras on the movie How to Deal, which is based on two YA books by Sarah Dessen) and I particularly enjoyed hearing the kids' opinions on how much they enjoy books that are geared to young adults and take them seriously as readers. So, yep, it was probably a very wise move!!

maggie moran said...

YA books are the bomb! :D

Charleston 54321 said...

Hello and thank you for the wonderful book mother, in particular, is a voracious reader and currently in the hospital in Charlotte for some time. I am always in search of good material for myself and her and will use your guidance in sending along some good reading material to her.

Many thanks for your sharing. . .


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