It's 1939 in Molching, Germany, and horror is everywhere. Nazi rule has divided the nation into those who are brutalized and those who are merely oppressed. Hunger, fear, and isolation reign. There are stories here, and who better to tell them than Death?
Gathering souls, Death observes the many mysteries of human nature. How can people be cruel and kind, sad and joyful, bitter and beautiful, loving and inhumane…all at the same time? Death is especially struck by young Liesel Meminger, a nine-year old girl who faces loss, abandonment, and hopelessness.
Yet Liesel finds refuge from her nightmares
- with her foster mother, who always seems to make the right decision, even in the face of so much wrong;
- with her foster father, who introduces her to the power of words and books; and
- with a secret friend, who teaches her how to overcome her fears through telling her own story.
Celebrating the way that books and stories unite people in the face of tragedy, this haunting, weighty, and transformative book is impossible to forget.
Common Core Alignment:
RL.9-10.5. Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
RST.9-10.10. By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Sydney Taylor Book Award
YALSA Top 10 Best Books for Young Adults
NCSS Notable SS Trade Books for Young People
Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book