As I was finishing The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, my mind was racing, and my heart was heavy from sympathy for the characters. In truth, if it weren’t for this assignment, I most likely would have never picked up this book. I’ve read so many novels on the Holocaust that I’ve become uninterested and blasé to reading about the topic in all. This book was different. It was written in a unique and beautiful way, and the stories were completely new. If I were to rate this book, from A-F (A being the highest, and F being the lowest), I would give it a B.
The Book Thief was narrated by Death, which I thought was unique because Death sided for neither Nazis nor Jews. He never said whether he thought the Germans were the good guys or the bad guys, he simply told us about the horrors of the human race. “I am haunted by humans.” (Zusak 550)
The story was about a German family which I felt was refreshing because almost all Holocaust books are about the hardships Jews had to go through and their experiences. The story showed that not all Germans at the time agreed with Hitler, so it’s good to see the war from different perspectives. “’I hate the Führer,’ she said. ‘I hate him.’” (Zusak 115) This quote shows that not all Germans supported Hitler, and that they could hate him as much as the Jews did.
I would give this book a perfect A if Death did not spoil parts of the story for me. “*** A SMALL ANNOUNCEMENT*** ABOUT RUDY STEINER He didn’t deserve to die the way he did.” (Zusak 241) Death tells us that Rudy dies hundreds of pages before it actually happens. My favorite part about reading a book is the element of surprise. I had to continue reading the rest of the book knowing what happens to one of the main characters. When Rudy finally did die, I wasn’t very sad or affected because I knew it was going to happen. This made my reading experience much less enjoyable.
Overall, I was very satisfied with this book and am glad I read it. I think a B is a very fair grade and is exactly what the book deserves.