Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

Narrated by Death, we learn of the story of Liesel Meminger, growing up with her foster parents outside of Munich in Nazi Germany as WW II unfolds around her. The book's title comes from Liesel's method of procuring reading material, but the story is about the people she befriends more than the books she reads, although stories make up a great deal of the plot.

An extremely long and complicated book that has more to do with adult relationships than coming of age or adolesence, it is hard to see why this is being marketed as a YA book. It's definitely good literature, but even if the vocabulary and the post-modern narrative doesn't turn off younger readers, it's hard to see what would attract them to this book. I can see librarians and teachers liking it, but it doesn't belong in the teen section.

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