Book Reviews,  FICTION,  FOUR STARS ****,  Jewish History,  Nazis,  Prize Winner

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak **** (of 4)

The character of Death narrates the story of Liesel Meminger, abandoned, nine-year-old daughter of a communist, who escapes death’s grasp during WWII in the German city of Molching. She survives in a foster home with German parents who also hide a Jewish boxing champ in the basement. The book made me sympathize with Germans who were not Nazis, a distinction I don’t usually make when considering German responsibility for the Holocaust. Zusak’s book is original and creative. It won the Book Sense of the Year Children’s Literature Award, but it is a lot more than a children’s book. May 2007.