Markus Zusak’s historical novel, The Book Thief, is a heart-wrenching rendition of a sad and shameful era in human history. It’s the story a young German girl, Liesel, who discovers the power of the written word. She first becomes a book thief on the same day her brother dies and her mother hands her over to foster care. While her mother desperately searches for help to bury her child, Liesel discovers a book hidden in the snow: The Grave Digger’s Handbook. She can’t read yet, but she picks it up, and her journey as a book thief begins. This book will shape her destiny.The imagery used to depict the pain and degradation experienced by the Jewish people in wartime Germany is so vivid and stark it will leave you shaken. The discovery of the power of the written word brings joy and a sense of purpose to Liesel’s impoverished world, but she will soon be slapped with the flip side, where words have the power to bring only pain and destruction.Highly recommended. This book cannot leave you untouched.