Currently residing on the New York Times Young Adult Best Sellers list for 121 weeks, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak has staying power. While not light or new, it would still be an awesome summer read. Originally published in Australia in 2005, it has regained popularity more recently with the release of a movie based on the book in 2013. You can borrow the DVD using UW Request. (You will need to sign in to do UW Request.)
This lengthy and leisurely story is set in small town Nazi Germany and follows the life of a young illiterate girl, Liesel, from when she’s fostered at age nine into her teenage years. Her foster father encourages her to learn to read, which she in turn does, and her life radically changes as she catches the bug. Her book-stealing and story-telling abilities help keep the horrors of war at bay for her new family, the Jewish man hiding in their home, and their neighbors. Although narrated by Death, who likes to foretell the future, not all is doom and gloom. There are sparks of many emotions throughout that help keep things interesting. The novel has received high ratings from reviewers.
If you’d like to read an excerpt, here is one from Read magazine , another from the Readers Read website, and a third from the Scribd website. An audio excerpt direct from Random House can be found on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website. I think reading one or more will draw you into this moving story, it did for me.
Oh, and by the way the audiobook on CD and other print copies can be borrowed using UW Request. (You will need to sign in to do UW Request.)
I hope you enjoy reading this book. If you’ve read it feel free to share your comments below.