The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
It is 1939 in Nazi Germany. As the country is holding its breath, Liesel Meminger, an adolescent foster girl living outside of Munich, scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing. At a Nazi book burning a horrified Liesel secretly snatches a random volume from the flames. Thus begin her encounters with something she can’t resist: books.
This profoundly moving story is of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II. Being illiterate, Liesel is teased at school and her adoptive father encourages her to learn how to read. When Max, a Jew hiding in their home, comes to live with the family, the power of words help him and Liesel escape from the terrifying events unfolding around them.
Markus Zusak’s book itself is a testament about the ability of the written word to feed the soul. It is both the messenger and the message in one.