“He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.
She was the book thief without the words.
Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.”
from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I feel a reverence for this beautiful little book that carefully and tenderly helps its reader to glimpse the experience of a child in war time. The world had gone mad for many of the adults in the story, but for the children to whom the world is such a small place; a playground, a school, a grocer, a neighbor, a stream. To a child who does not see Germans and Jews, Nazis and Allies, it's difficult to understand the desperate struggle of war.
What they do know, is that their families are held together with tissue paper. They learn too early and too much about cruelty, separation and death. And, they learn too early what we all need to know... that happiness and peace whenever and wherever they exist are great blessings that should be held up to the light and marveled over and then tucked carefully away in a memory to hold up as a treasure on any day it rains.