Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief,by Markus Zusak is quite simply one of the greatest books I've ever read, regardless of what age group it was written for. This book may be a little long to read as a read aloud, clocking in at over 500 pages, but it is a fantastic book. The book takes place during the Jewish Holocaust, but it takes places in Nazi Germany, at the home of a young foster girl and her adopted family.

The story is narrarated by the character of Death, and follows the struggles of the Holocaust, the horors of war, and the bickering that went on behind the lines of the Nazi party in Germany itself.
The book does have a difficult theme, some adult situations (more in terms of fighting and killing), and, of course, death. I would personally not have students younger than probably 13-years-old attempt to read it, although one of my 12-year-old students wanted to attempt it, and has so far managed to read 300 pages of it. As I mentioned before, it is a very long book, so if you're attempting to read it aloud, you're my hero, because it would probably take a few months.
This is a must own for any classroom book library, especially in middle school. I have only one copy, I came across it in a graduate literacy course, and will be ordering a few more to have on the shelf in my classroom. GET THIS BOOK!