This book was apparently the "most talked-about book of 2006", so I must have been asleep that year. This book has won numerous awards, including the Printz for 2007. I don't know that I can say that the book was "life changing" like the NYTimes said it could be. But, I will say that I am forever enriched because I read it.
I should say up front that I loved it even though I didn't find it particularly "fun" or easy to read. I knew next to nothing about the book before I started reading it, and I know I won't do it justice trying to tell you about it anyway. But, I think it is useful to know what kind of a book you are getting yourself into because you need to be in the right frame of mind before you start reading it: The story is narrated by Death and is set in WWII Germany. Death follows the life of Leisel Meminger (the book thief), her foster parents, and other members of the town of Molching (near Dachau) during those horrific years.
The book was just extraordinarily well-written. Zusak's use of foreshadowing, irony, imagery, and figurative language were awe-inspiring. I definitely think this will be on my Top Ten list for 2008. Highly recommended.
17 minutes ago