the Framingham Public Library

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    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Wow. It's like March hit and suddenly nobody's visiting the blog anymore. Come back, come back! I have the results from the "What do you like to read over a long vacation week?" poll. Coming in top place, tied at 37%, were fluffy chic lit and big fat epic fantasy. Amazing adventure stories and comics made a showing. There's already another new poll -- cast your vote!

    I had a father ask me today what I could recommend for his son who has read and enjoyed the Alex Rider books. I handed him three sets of books to try: Spy High series by A J Butcher, Sleeper Conspiracy books by Tom Sniegoski, and CHERUB by Robert Muchamore. Teen spies.... Oh -- I forgot! There's also the Young Bond book....

    The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
    Narrated by Death, this tells the story of a young girl living with her foster family during World War II. Despite not knowing how to read (at the start), Liesel is fascinated by books. With the help of her accordian-playing foster father, she learns letters and words and sentences and eventually discovers that she cannot resist a book -- even to the point of stealing it. But in the meantime, in between book thieving, she plays soccer on the street, helps hide a Jew in her basement, delivers her foster mother's ironing, attends school, joins a Hitler Youth division, has a best friend, steals apples, and begins to understand the importance of human life and the difficulties of war and race. It's a meager existence, but one that Death finds fascinating.
    This hefty book may put a few people off by its shear size and the strange opening chapter, or maybe the style of writing. But soon into the book, the flow appears and creates a definite charm of style. Observations by Death make for interesting asides; the everyday conflicts of a young girl in Hitler Germany make for interesting stories. I loved that the focus was on her and her life, influenced by the war but not overrun by the war. Simply a great book, and runner up for this year's Printz Award.
    Y FICTION Zusak

    ps -- the dominoes (see post below) do show up briefly in the book

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