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Students select ‘The Book Thief’ as all-school summer book

The all-school book, "The Book Thief."
The all-school book, "The Book Thief."

This year, a committee of 13 students under the guidance of English Department Head Joseph Koetters chose Australian author Markus Zusak’s “The Book Thief” as the summer all-school book, rather than a committee of faculty members.

“I think students should pick the book,” Koetters said.

Koetters, who called the book a “page turner” said he had “every reason to think people will enjoy it.”

Originally sold and marketed in Australia as a book for adults, “The Book Thief” became a teen favorite in the U.S.

In addition to being popular for its suspense, the book touches on deep topics, Koetters said.

“It is a serious piece of literature and very easy to read,” he said.

Taking place in Germany and leading up to World War II, “The Book Thief” revolves around a girl named Liesel whom Death, the narrator, meets when her brother dies. The story focuses on the issues of dying and the power of friendship in a time of need.

Anna ’14, who was one of the committee members, said she is “excited” about the book and thinks it would be “fun to read [it] again.”

Some other choices on the list were “A Separate Piece,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “Prime of Ms. Jean Brody,” and “The Magic Barrel,” but students enjoyed “The Book Thief” from the very beginning, Koetters said.

Koetters also said that despite the difficulty to get 13 people to decide on a great book, he is pleased with student participation.

“Ultimately we got a great result,” Koetters said.