Reading Log #2 Book Thief (complete)

AS 90854 Reading Record Sheet – Draft Ideas 2018  ‘Highly Recommended’

Student Name: Christina Lamb

Text Title: The Book Thief

Author/Director: Markus Zusak

Text Type (circle): Written Text

Date Finished:  13th April

 In 1993 a young girl called Liesel is adopted by a German couple who end up hiding a Jewish refugee, Max. After being taught to read Liesel discovers her love for books and ends up secretly ‘borrowing’ books to read to Max during World War 2.

The main theme is that words are the most powerful way to how people connect with one another.  The novel clearly establishes that words are the main source of ideas and power. At the beginning, Leisel doesn’t know how to read and is made fun of in school. As the novel goes on she gets taught how to read by Hans, and this improves their bond because they can both relate to something. As her thirst for reading more books and improving her vocabulary grows she begins to steal books. Max asks her: “if your eyes could speak, what would they say?” this is a great example of how powerful words can be, by Max saying this Liesel learns how to make the words hers and give an accurate description. Max also writes a story for Liesel in which he writes that words are the most powerful thing and are the key to life as that’s the main difference between us and a tree he compares. He also goes on to say that Hitler used words to persuade people and gain his power, not guns nor money. A very significant quote is “ Words started not to mean just something, but everything.” This defines just how powerful and diverse words can be. At the beginning of the text, words were just there to fill in the silence, the blanks, they were something as well as meaning nothing, but towards the end when she develops her knowledge for words, she understands that they can mean everything and anything. She also discovers how powerful they can be and can mean nothing to someone but everything to someone else.

 This text connects with the world because it gives us an insight of the stress, fear and worries people had to go through during World War ||. It also has a historical connection since the novel is based in Germany during the first year of World War ||. More importantly, the theme of the novel which is the power of words can be very easily socially related to the modern day. The theme is about how powerful words can be and currently, words have been such a big thing in the media and in high schools. Words such as “ugly” and “fat” are just a small portion of the negative words that are so damaging because these days like it or not everyone is self-conscious of something and have even the slightest worry of how they appear to others. So when we hear such horrible words, they are very powerful especially for vulnerable teenagers, words can be more harmful than knives and can lead people to do the most insane things such as suicide which is a major current issue. Words are also very powerful because we vividly remember the negatives rather than positives, if someone says to a girl they are “ugly”, that girl will remember that much more vividly compared to someone saying shes “beautiful”. This is because in human nature we have evolved to access the dangers and competition, so when someone says negative words like that we think that we are not worthy enough and try to make ourselves better and more ‘perfect’. So the next day the girl would have woke up earlier just to apply that extra bit of makeup and spend more time on her hair just to make herself feel less ugly. This is powerful because one word has made this girl very self-conscious and go to the trouble of making herself feel more worthy of trying to fit more into the ‘ideal body image’. Words can also be powerful in a negative as well as a positive way.

This text connects with my viewpoints because I believe that words can be very powerful and more harmful than weapons. Words affect us mentally, we remember how words make us feel and we often don’t forget what people say about us. This book definitely signifies that words are important through the idea of books. 

I would recommend this book because it is not only informative about World War two and what people had to go through but it also carries a very effective topic of words and books which can be very easily interpreted into our everyday modern lives. It makes you realise the effect of words in a subtle way an example of this is the quote: “ Words started not to mean just something, but everything.” It signifies that to different people that word could mean a diverse range of things and influence them negatively or positively.

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