'The Book Thief' Hits the Big Screen

Years ago, I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which is quickly becoming a modern day classic and appearing on many high schools' required reading lists. It is one of those stories that instantly grabs you and won’t let go – not even when you’re finished reading it. Set during World War II, narrated by Death himself, the story follows Liesel Meminger, a young illiterate girl who learns to read and falls in love with books at a time when book burning was on the rise. Any youngster in the Hitler youth, as Liesel was, would have been expected to participate in such burnings. How young Liesel walked that fine line of loving and secretly reading books that could brand her a traitor to Nazi Germany and how her foster family walked a fine line trying to maintain their peaceful life while refusing to join the Nazi party are just some of the many ideas explored in The Book Thief.

The Book Thief is such an amazing story that I wasn’t surprised to see Hollywood make it into a movie, which I recently saw and highly recommend. As a person who celebrates Hanukkah, I couldn’t help smiling at the timing in which this movie has been released. After all, Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Jewish revolutionaries over the oppressive Greek army under Antiochus Epiphanes, who wanted to force assimilation to his way of life – much like Hitler and the Nazi party in The Book Thief.