Author: Marcus Zusak
Reviewed by: Aoife Kerr, Leixlip Library
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.
So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
This is such an amazing book. It is such a well written, thoughtful book. It is narrator by Death, which is brilliant. He is one of my favourite characters in this book. I do have to admit that I did find it a little hard to get into at first, but once I did I really enjoyed it. It also has a little bit of humour in it, despite the dark topic. It is so worth reading. It is one of those books that everyone should read, at least once in their life.