Book Thief Talk at Cherry Creek

Hannah Edelheit, Web Editor

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The lights in the auditorium dim. You can hear the women’s voice start to announce that Markus Zusak will be coming out in a few short seconds. Then a bunch of excited clapping starts as Markus Zusak walks out holding a book titled Bride of Clay

    The Tattered Cover, everyone’s favorite Colorado book store recently hosted an event at Creek. On Friday in the Fine Arts Auditorium, Markus Zusak came out to Cherry Creek High School to talk about his new book coming out Bridge of Clay.

      Zusak is most famous for his second book The Book Thief. He first book The Messenger was not as famous as The Book Thief  but it is still well known. His new book came out 13 years after The Book Thief. Bridge of Clay follows the five Dunbar boys on their adventures to find their father who has disappeared.

     When Zusak started his speech, he talked about his family and how he is from Australia. He has a twelve year old daughter and a nine year old son. Zusak said this book deals a lot with family and how a house with five sons is hectic and crazy.

      He then goes on to talk about his own family life and how the Bridge of Clay is a “revenge” story from the perspective of a younger sibling. Since Zusak is a younger sibling, it makes sense he would pull from his personal life.

      Joel Morris an English Teacher that attended the event was impressed by Zusak’s story telling said,

      “The thing that really impressed me about him was that he told a story about his own life or real story and then he stepped back from that, and exposed how the story worked.”

    Zusak moved on from the Bridge of Clay to talk about his fundamentals of storytelling and important details. Zusak said he always pulls stories from his own life and mind which he always adds the little details. He adds these details to make his own stories more believable.

     The best reactions come from the unexpected details and it helps the story. These details allow the audience to focus on things within the story itself. Zusak also said you need to tell good stories because it helps the reader want to read the story.

       The last fundamental part of story details is that the story itself needs to be on two levels. These two levels are the main point and the back story; therefore, they are interchangeable. Zusal said that he uses these types of main point and backstory details as he writes and doesn’t use them the same way all of the time.

      When Zusak edits he chooses things that are either “dead” or “alive”. “Dead” meaning not useful, so Zusak either has to make them alive or get rid of those details. If the details or storyline is “alive” then that means it is good and beneficial to the story.

      Zusak also gave the audience some tricks he uses to write stories. His little details are almost always true within his stories. The lines in some of his books have been said by him or his family so it makes the book more believable and seem honest.

      Zusak said that he is the only one that can write the way he can, so he does not want to be worse or better than anyone else. He also writes the title first and then the ending and finally the beginning. He also “plays” with his writing to make it better.

Overall the author gave an amazing speech that could inspire writers everywhere.

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