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Memphis Reads 2017 Community Read Book Selection + Events

Photo: Abhi Sharma

Memphis Reads has selected the international best seller The Book Thief by Australian writer Marcus Zusak as its 2017 community read book.

Appearing on The New York Times bestseller list for more than 500 weeks, The Book Thief has received numerous awards, including the Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Children’s Literature and the Michael L. Printz Honor from the American Library Association. Each year, Memphis Reads chooses a novel that is read by the Memphis community and celebrated by a month-long series of book-related events including panel discussions, art-related happenings, and film screenings.
 
The highlight of the month will be three presentations by the author – one at a local high school and two public presentations with book signings at Christian Brothers University on September 11 and at Rhodes College on September 12. These events are free and open to the public. The high school talk, organized by Facing History and Ourselves, will also occur on September 12.
The novel, set in 1939 Germany, is the story of a young girl, Liesel Meminger, who becomes the foster child of an accordion player and his wife following the death of Liesel’s brother. The kind-hearted foster father uses a book that Liesel steals to teach her to read. Liesel continues her habit of stealing books, and eventually befriends both a neighborhood boy and Max, a family friend. Max is a Jew who is hiding from the Gestapo in the foster family’s house. Max and Liesel have much in common – they are both traumatized by past experiences and both have nightmares. Both, too, are lonely and far from home. Narrated by Death, the story gets more complicated as Leisel continues to steal books, which she shares not only with Max but also with other families during bombing raids.

Click here for the full schedule of events.

Looking for a local book club? Go here.

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