First Pages: The Book Thief
Mini Me had a fantastic social studies teacher for sixth grade last year. He brought American history to life for her and she would come home telling us all about the things I certainly never learned (or remembered) from when I was younger. Mr. Bookworm is a bit of a history buff and I think that if it was possible, he would have attempted to get his PhD in History just for fun. Instead, he finished up his Masters (sort of, long story) in Computer Science right before we were married, and then he moved to Boston and started working at a start-up while I finished up in medical school.
So it's no surprise that Mini Me has the huge love for history, and currently for World War II. I thought it would mean that reading The Diary of Anne Frank would be an easy and interesting summer read for her. Instead, we dug up the book yesterday and she has this weekend to finish it before school starts. (I'm not worried, she's a fast reader. She's just reading things in between.) And I started to read it with her to help out.
So, of course, for my First Pages series, she suggested one of her favorite books that she read this year: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. And, of course, I've heard of this book, but I had never read it. I'm very grateful that her English teacher last year had all the students do book presentations because Mini Me bought this book right after her classmate talked about it.
First Lines/First Pages discussion of The Book Thief
The Book Thief starts with a lot of lyrical sentences and dry humor and that magical bit of mystery that draws the reader right in. Add in the imagery with the colors, the set-off sections of sentences, and the distinct voice with a tinge of loneliness and the reader is locked in.
I usually start looking through the actual first lines of the book from chapter one, however, Mini Me insisted that I needed to look at the prologue instead for this book and I can see why right away. It's a terrific start to the book and sets the mood/voice/tone right away. I haven't read the rest of the novel (yet) but I know immediately why my Mini Me enjoyed it. There is a lot of dry humor/sarcasm that is just up her alley. In fact I posted on my Instagram account about a section when she was reading it that has the perfect semi-ironic statement:
I've flipped through the novel and there are some intriguing illustrations as well. I just might have to read this alongside a 'fluffy' read, though, because my heart might not be able to take it on its own.
Tell Dr. Bookworm!
Which book have you read that changed your life? (It can be either in a big or small way.)
Do you read multiple books simultaneously like me?
I started the First Lines and First Pages series in November 2017 as a homage to National Novel Writing Month. In the tradition of one of my previous writing groups, I decided to 'share' the first lines of successful middle grade and YA novels in order to figure out what made them successful first pages. I posted as many as I could in November, and now post the series on the first of every month.