Middle School Library

Realistic Fiction

In November, our genre focus was Realistic Fiction. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which was nominated by Madison Brost, won the draw for Mrs. Fisher's Random Reads. This book reflects the daily life of the German people during WWII and follows the experiences of Liesel, a German girl who was sent to live with a foster family because her parents were under suspicion of communism. Zusak's touching novel reveals a victim of WWII that we often do not consider, the German people who were manipulated and coerced into supporting a leader whose policies many of them found abhorrant. The main story line is realistic fiction, however, the narrator is Death himself, and this point of view could arguably put the genre into question.

Mrs. Fisher's reaction: I could not put it down! At first, the style of narration was a little distracting, but once I got used to it, it felt right. There is some mild swearing, but it is in keeping with the realistic nature of the book. Madison's favorite character was Liesel, but mine was Hans Hubberman, the foster father. He was such a deeply moral man, and the reader can see his pain at what is happening in his country. One of the things that I loved most about this book was the complexity of the characters. Zusak reveals both strengths and weaknesses; courage and cowardice; kindness and cruelty; often within the same character and on the same page. It made me cry - hard! A book that makes me feel deeply is always well worth the time!