Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Book Thief by Mark Zusak...

How I Heard About It:  I have known about this book for quite some time.  Many of my reading friends have read it and raved about it.  Once the movie came out, I heard even more great things about this novel.  One of my buddies in the BBC (Boy's Book Club) picked this title for our current selection.  I finally made the time to read this book that so many people had read and talked about.  

What It Is About:  I probably don't have to give a summary because I know so many readers have already spent time with this novel.  Liesel is torn from her mother and brother and ends up with a foster family.  She spends the next few years living with Rosa and Hans Hubermann during the Nazi Germany years.  Before she went to live with them, she stole her first book and brought it with her as she began her new life on Himmel Street.  Once on Himmel Street she becomes close friends with Rudy and grows to love Max, who is a young Jewish man that the Hubermann's are hiding in their basement.  Throughout these years, Liesel learns to read from "papa" and becomes obsessed with books, words, and stories.  She will end up stealing many books during the course of the story.  Liesel will also have to deal with many tragedies and difficulties with her new family and friends because of the Nazi Army and of course Hitler.  

What I Thought Of It:  To be honest, I didn't bond with this story.  I found it difficult to understand, follow, and enjoy.  The beginning was confusing and hard to follow.  Once I got into the rhythm of the writing, then things flowed a bit better for me.  As I stated on Twitter, "I don't think I'm smart enough to understand this book."  It wasn't a difficult read, but I never became attached to the characters and plot as I know so many readers have.  There were parts that I enjoyed and found myself "taken away" within the story, but overall I think I was just reading it because I had to for book club.  I do think the writing was excellent and well done, but just wasn't a story for me.  This being said, I know I'm in the minority of readers.  That is actually one of the great things about reading and books.  Each person is drawn to different types of stories and finds enjoyment in a variety of books.  

Who Should Read It:  If there is anyone left out there in the reading world that hasn't read this book yet, then I think they should.  I'm glad I read it, but it is too bad I didn't enjoy it more.  I know the novel is geared toward young adult readers, but to me it was definitely an adult book.  The other members of my book club enjoyed it so I'm glad we all read it and will be "discussing" it soon at our next book club.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  3 STARS out of 5 Stars

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