Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for..........

Z is for..........Zusak.

Markus Zusak has written five books: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, When Dogs Cry, I Am The Messenger, and The Book Thief.

I don't remember how I came to read The Book Thief, if someone recommended it to me or I just came across it in a bookstore one day and it caught my attention. However it got in my hands, I'm glad it did. The Book Thief is one of my very favorite books, certainly in my lifetime top ten.

The Book Thief is a World War II story like no other. Liesel Meminger is a young girl on the verge of adolescence in Nazi Germany. Liesel develops a strong bond with Max Vandenberg, a Jewish fist-fighter taking refuge in the basement of her foster parents' home. Liesel sporadically steals books throughout the novel, perfectly illustrating the transformative power of the written word. I'd say that's what this book is, transformative.

Zusak's language in The Book Thief is unique, sometimes unsettling, consistently beautiful. I have read The Book Thief with some of my 8th graders the last few years, and I'll never forget something one of my students said in class one day. After we'd read the first few pages, she said it sounded like poetry. I've always liked that description.

Zusak has said he doesn't know if he can write anything better than The Book Thief, and to be honest, I highly doubt it myself. It's kind of like Harper Lee trying to follow up To Kill a Mockingbird. Which she didn't do of course. I'm glad Zusak is going to try though. His next book is supposed to come out in 2012, and I can't wait to read it.

Well folks, there you have it, the last post of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting. The feedback has been awesome and greatly appreciated. The Challenge was a lot of fun, but I'm glad it's over. The hosts of A-Z have a reflection post scheduled for May 7, so I'll share more thoughts then. Again, thanks to everyone for making this challenge a rewarding experience.      


  1. I often wonder about these authors who've achieved such huge success with novels, if they feel intimidated to write the next one. Did enjoy The Book Thief, and my son read it as well. I think it will likely make it into a lot of school curriculum's.

  2. Yay! Congrats Tim. Awesome effort this year. You were a big inspiration for my own challenge going on now.

    Anyway, I have The Book Thief on my bedside table. Mrs. LIAYF read it, really enjoyed it, and suggested I read it.

    I am slow though, so it has been there with a whole other stack for quite some time. I may have to move it to the top of the pile.

  3. I've never heard of this book, but will add it to the list of books that has materialized through my participation in the A to Z Challenge. Blogging can be so great, can't it?

  4. Maybe all any of us get (if we are lucky) is one great book.

  5. It's been fun going through another A-Z with you. The Book Thief has been on my list of books to read and I'm going to bring it up to the top now.

    Congrats on a great month!

  6. Absolutely in my top ten too. Congrats on the blog challenge. You inspire me.

  7. The Book Thief- what a wonderful book and what a wonderful author. Look forward to reading more form him.

  8. This is why I don't write a book. Ha!

    Nice work with the A to Z, Tim. :)