This is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. The beginning is a little odd, because the narrator is Death himself, but I am so glad I stuck with it. I was absolutely enthralled with Liesel, her sweet Papa, her funny friend Rudy and the quiet Jew in her basement. With the setting in Nazi Germany, there is an undercurrent of sadness, but the story is so rich and good that you will love it anyway. I can't wait to see the movie when it comes out in November!
Summary (from Amazon):Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when shes roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative.
Read: May-June 2013 via CD from library