Monday, June 15, 2009

The Book Thief Review by Molly -The Power of Words

My Cozy Book Nook
Every page of this book has a gem on it and therein lies its power. Death's point of view is far different from the sinister apprehension most people make of it. Death personified meets Liesel in run ins with her. The power of words is unlike any other power for sheer potency in shaping the affairs of the world. Hitler well knew this. He cultivated them into forests until they permeated all Germany and then the world.The seeds planted were the symbols.Indeed words are everything and can cause miracles to happen. They are much more powerful than the sword,more devastating and lasting.

From the moment I started The Book Thief, I knew that I would want to re-read
the book at least once, but probably numerous times. It took me a while to get
into the book, mostly, I think, because I had envisioned "death's" point of view
to be vastly different from what it was in the novel
. I expected death to be
evil - sinister - giddy in his accomplishments; but instead, I found this death
to be observant, compassionate and questioning humanity. While the story is told
from death's perspective, he does focus on a young girl, Liesel, for most of the
narrative. He meets Liesel when her brother dies on the train
, and he
continually "runs into her" as he performs his duty in war-torn Germany.While
this book is quite deserving of a full-length review, I prefer to cut it short
and leave the reader with this thought from the author: "I like the idea that
every page in a book can have a gem on it." That is precisely what this book
has. Each and every page has a minimum of one eloquent passage or beautiful word
picture that causes the reader to pause and reflect. In fact, a major theme of
the story is the power of words:
"...the Fuhrer decided that he would rule
the world with words. 'I will never fire a gun,' he devised, 'I will not have
to.'.....He planted (words) day and night, and cultivated them. He watched them
until eventually, great forests of words had risen throughout Germany. It
was a nation of formed thoughts. While the words were growing, our young Fuhrer
also planted seeds to create symbols, and these, too, were well on their way to
full bloom. Now the time had come." - page
445How I wish I could make my
students understand this premise. Words are everything. Words can build others
up - or tear them down. Words, when cultivated and arranged in just the perfect
order, can cause miracles to happen.
At the same time, words haphazardly strung
together with no thought or effort can lead to devastation. I think there is no
other pithy saying that is most inaccurate as: "sticks and stones will break my
bones, but names (words) will never hurt me." Words hurt more than swords, and
have a much longer lasting effect.

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