The Book Thief
The Book Thief is the story of a young girl named Liesel Meminger, who comes to live with foster parents in Molching, Germany. The whole book is narrated by the character Death. On the way to her foster parent’s home, her brother dies, and she steals a book from a cemetery, but doesn’t know how to read. Her foster-father, Hans, teaches her how to read after they become closer. Liesel becomes obsessed with reading and books, and begins to steal books and food with her friend Rudy. Eventually, her new family takes into hiding a young Jewish man, Max, with whom she becomes fast friends. However, because Jewish sympathy is very dangerous for kind Germans, Hans sends Max away. Hans is also drafted into the German army. With two important people from her life missing, Liesel copes by reading books and exploring with her friend Rudy. The young girl discovers what it means to live in Nazi Germany–about love and hate. It’s a heartbreaking and powerful story about growing up in a time of war and discovering the inspiring and repulsive power of human nature.
Recommended by Lindsey Oetken.