Book Thief: A New Twist to the Holocaust

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Britt Young, News Editor

Markus Zusak brings a new twist to the holocaust in The Book Thief by having death tell the story of a young girl struggling through th terrible time.
Many holocaust stories end up being the same story because of the detail and someone always end up being killed or dies in the end.  Zusak brings a new light to the events of the holocaust by having the one thing that takes the dead tell the story.
Death walks the readers through a story of a young girl that was an orphan that never had anything of her own.  In the scene before she is taken to her foster home, she watches her brother being buried and she steals a book.  She is unable to read at this time, but takes it as a memory of her brother.

The young girl was put into a German home with two compassionate people that take care of her.  The foster mother works for herself and has the young girl deliver the laundry to houses.

The young becomes very close to her foster father who comes in and comforts her from her bad dreams.  Later on he decides to teach her how to read and write late at night when she has the bad dreams.  She soon starts to call him “papa.”

One day as she is delivering laundry to the mayor’s house the young girl goes into the library and steals one of the books.  The mayor’s wife catches her and invites her to read in the library.

As the story progresses, the foster parents end up taking in and hiding a Jew boxer in their basement.  The Jewish boxer’s father had saved the young girls papa in World War one.  The young girl starts to question the difference between her and the Jewish people.

Death narrates the whole story by walking through the little girl’s life as he takes people she has encountered.  Death is everywhere and is able to talk about the reactions and feelings that people have after he takes them.

The twists in the book keep the reader on the edge of their seat, and not even knowing that they are reading about historical events.  The book brings a realism to the events that happened in Europe, even though death is something that is not tangible outside of this book.