I have to be honest: I thought I had read enough books that were set in WWII. But I was wrong. This is a must read. Zusak beautifully tells this complex and difficult story with grace and tenderness. Our narrator is Death and the main character is Liesel, a girl who is about 9 when the book begins in Nazi Germany in 1939. The author richly tells the story of this foster child as she grows up in this confusing and tragic time surrounded by wonderfully deep characters. For me, a test of an exceptional book is to feel a bit sad at the end, not because of the ending but because I am going to miss my friends. I still miss Liesel and Rudy and Max and Hans and even Death.