December 30, 2010

The Book Thief

photo from Google Images
It all started with Liesl Meminger's first stolen book entitled The Gravedigger’s Handbook. Obviously, it was owned by the gravediggers during her younger brother's funeral. That book was one of the stolen books that saved her life.

Liesel was sent to live with the Hubermanns, her foster parents, who lived on Himmel Street in Molching. Himmel means Heaven. Hans Hubermann, whom she calls papa, taught her how to read and write. Every night when Liesel woke up screaming from her nightmares, Hans sat with her and they read The Gravedigger’s Handbook. Rosa Hubermann, whom she calls mama, often calls her saukerl/saumenchbut those words are not too harsh for Liesl.

It is also the story of Max Vandenburg, a Jewish, who turns up one day on their doorsteps and change their lives more than anyone could have imagine. The story was set in Germany on 1943 so you should have known that keeping Jews inside German's homes is illegal and is punishable.

It is also the story of Rudy Steiner, Liesel’s neighbour on Himmel street and her best friend. He likes Liesl so much that whenever she asks for a favor or whenever he does things for the girl, he asks a kiss from her. But Liesl doesn't want to kiss him at all. He is Liesl's partner in crime (e.i. stealing books from mayor's wife's library).

In this book, thievery is considered an art and writing is comprised of happiness and sadness.
"I have hated the words, and I have loved them" - The Book Thief, last line.

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