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January 30 , 2008

Bookclub-in-a-Box Discusses The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak


It is 1939 and times are getting tough for everyone in Germany. Ten-year old Liesel and her brother are on their way to be adopted into a foster home, but sadly, the brother dies en route. After his burial, Liesel steals her first book, The Grave Diggers Handbook. The remarkable thing is that Liesel cannot read. We follow Liesel through the war years, as she learns to read, laugh, and play, to interact with family, friends and neighbors, and, most dramatically, to protect a Jew, named Max. Death is the extraordinary narrator of the novel. He spots Liesel and is fascinated with her. He hopes that the goodness she embodies will counteract the world's tendency toward evil, especially in Nazi Germany. The small rebellions carried out by Liesel and a handful of others show that resistance to tyranny may be possible and that one individual can make a difference. Bookclub-in-a-Box has created a comprehensive guide to The Book Thief and includes the following reflections: How Death narrates a story about life; the moral and practical realities of individual rebellions against the Nazis; the power of books and storytelling, and much more. Every Bookclub-in-a-Box discussion guide includes complete coverage of the themes and symbols, writing style and interesting background information on the novel and the author.
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