The Book Thief is the story of orphaned Liesal Meminger who comes to Munich in 1940 after the death of her brother and is fostered by Hans and Rose Hubermann.
At her brother's funeral , she finds a copy of The Gravediggers Handbook left at the cemetery and takes it home. . Hans teaches her to read whilst harbouring a Jewish fist-fighter, Max, in their basement who writes stories for her. And so begins her great love affair with words and books. With no money to buy books she secretly steals them from wherever she can.
The Book Thief is a wonderful story of love, loss and heartache. At first it was hard to get past the recurrently used "excerpts" as they are rarely used in fiction for young people and I initially found them irritating. However, I persevered with the book as I did get used to them and The Book Thief turns into a truly exceptional and moving read of family and first love.
Published by Definitions (with an adult version published by Black Swan), Markus Zusak's book is available to order from Amazon: