[This is a guest post by Diyana Yusoff from Reading Initiatives.]

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The Book Thief tells a story of how young Liesel Meminger copes with war-torn life in Nazi Germany. Becoming a book thief is her way of dealing with the loss of her mother and brother among other tragedies as she discovers her love for reading, even though she is illiterate at the beginning of the story.

The novel is framed by a number of other books as depicted by its section titles. In war, it is common to find two or more opposing sides, but what happens to those who are caught in the middle? In this story, the focus falls on the lives of people who are sympathetic to and risk their own lives for the persecuted Jews. Are they traitors to the nation, or victors in the defense of humanity?

I recommend this book for those who would like to learn more about the Holocaust era, particularly about the lives of Germans who did not agree with Hitler’s worldview. This is a story rarely told, perhaps because it does not dwell on the horror stories of the Holocaust. Its message, however, is equally important: war makes victims of us all.