It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding tis breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
By her brother's graveside, Liesel Meminger's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger's Handbook, left 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 accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing ooks 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.
(Summary from back of book)
I have a strange fascination with the Holocaust. That human beings, my own species, are capable of something so horrendous is just beyond words. My interest in it, now that I've thought about it, stems from a need to do the memories of those people justice. I've watch The Boy In The Striped Pajamas and sobbed through the whole thing, I've spent over two hours at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and I've read books like this one. I know it sounds petty and naive, but experiencing that kind of stuff makes me feel better about what happened. It makes me feel like I'm one more person whose eyes have been opened.
I finished this book about thirty minutes ago so I'm probably not qualified to give an opinion. Let me sum it up in a few quick sentences.
This is a book everyone should read.
It's a book that displays the best and the worst of human beings.
It's a book that will tear your heart out.
This is a book that makes you feel like you really can be a part of something greater.
It's a book that shows that death may not be that scary after all.
And most of all, it's a book of hope.