"Nine-year-old Liesel lives with her foster family on Himmel Street during the dark days of the Third Reich. Her Communist parents have been transported to a concentration camp, and during the funeral for her brother, she manages to steal a macabre book: it is, in fact, a gravediggers’ instruction manual.
This is the first of many books which will pass through her hands as the carnage of the Second World War begins to hungrily claim lives. Both Liesel and her fellow inhabitants of Himmel Street will find themselves changed by both words on the printed page and the horrendous events happening around them."
This book made me cry - not just a silent single tear but proper crying. Yeah I am emotional when it comes to books but this book in particular is one that really affected me. It is similar in essence to The Boy In Striped Pyjamas which isn't one I have read but a film I watched in the cinema and sat shell shocked at the end. The stories that stay with me the most are the stories that do not have the happy ending that you expect.
The story is told from the perspective of Death which I think adds a really interesting aspect to the story. The idea of death is never far from your mind when Death is your narrator. I loved Leisel and Rudy as characters, they are such high spirited characters and its sometimes easy to forget that they are so young when they have to deal with such grown up topics. While death is obviously a heavy topic throughout the book, the theme that stood out the most for me was the love between family, between friends and of a community.
It was a book I found difficult to read mainly because I ultimately knew exactly the direction this book was heading and it was all a bit overwhelming. I didn't want to get to the conclusion that I knew was coming. Definitely an emotional read but a good one all the same.