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The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. — By her brother's graveside, Liesel Meminger's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780375842207
ISBN-10: 0375842209
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 560
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 1026

4.3 stars, based on 1026 ratings
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Book Thief on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 26
The Book Thief is set in Germany during World War 2 but it tells a side to the story that you don't often hear. The story is about Lisel and her foster parents, non-Jewish Germans who don't belong to the Nazi party but they must pretend to in order to protect thier own lives. Death is the narrator and he's tired of his job. Zusak's characters are so rich I cared about every single one and cried at the end. Although this book is categorized as young adult fiction I think it can be appreciated by people of all ages and cultures. It was my introduction to Markus Zusak and I will definitely read more of his work.
reviewed The Book Thief on
Helpful Score: 21
When a twelve-year-old girl came up to me crying and asking me if I wanted to borrow this book, I couldn't refuse. She had just finished the story and was so struck by it that she wanted to pass it on for someone else to read. I was hesitant when left alone with the book, as it wasn't really my genre, but as I progressed into it I was amazed by how heartbreakingly beautiful it was.

The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a girl who is raised in Germany during World War II. Her life is torn apart when her mother sends her to a foster home and then loses contact with her. When she first arrives at her new home on Himmel Street, she is haunted by the death of her six year old brother and struggles with her new surroundings and new family.

Liesel finds herself attracted to books, even though she cannot read, which she "steals" through various conventional and unconventional means. Though books are a continuing theme, this story is more about her realtionships with the people that come into and out of her life.

This book is written in a unique and innovative format. Certain points are differently presented to make them more poignant or draw attention to their importance. In some cases, we get to see the drawings and paintings by the people in Liesel's life.

The whole story is narrated by Death, but not in a tacky way. It seems to present Death as a hopeful yet sad onlooker as he gently carries the souls of the lost away in his arms while keeping an eye on the life of The Book Thief.

The history in this play is mostly accurate to the best of my knowledge. It is a realistic presentation of Germany during the war and of the lives of the people impacted by it. The story is rich and well-told, the ending is devastating and brilliant, and the book is gripping, particularly towards the latter half.

This book is a bestseller, currently ranking at the top of Amazon's children's book list, though this is not a book that I would plass in that category. It is probably one of, if not the best book I have read this year, and I was almost sad to pass it back to the twelve-year-old girl who owned it.

4.8 out of 5. Highly recommended.


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reviewed The Book Thief on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
What a powerful, wonderful book! It was heart-rending, heart-warming, wonderful, painful, compelling⦠all these things and more. I've just finished listening to this book and I feel stunned and rather bruised. It is such a powerful, wonderful book, yet the subject matter is very sad and at times horrific. I am pretty amazed that this is supposed to be a children's book (first of all, it is huge!). It is so very well written, absolutely beyond perfection. In all my years, I have never deeply considered what it must have been like as a young child or teen living in Nazi Germany. This book is vividly written, and I feel as though I lived with the child characters. As a book lover and collector, this book spoke to my spirit and soul. All I can say is "READ IT." On a practical note, I think that a person who listens to this book on audio should also have the hard copy available so that they can see the drawings within its page.
reviewed The Book Thief on + 86 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. Don't let the "Young Adult" genre categorization fool you - this is most definitely a book for all adults. It's beautifully written and will stay with you long after you finish.
reviewed The Book Thief on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
What a powerful, wonderful book! It was heart-rending, heart-warming, wonderful, painful, compelling⦠all these things and more. I've just finished listening to this book and I feel stunned and rather bruised. It is such a powerful, wonderful book, yet the subject matter is very sad and at times horrific. I am pretty amazed that this is supposed to be a children's book (first of all, it is huge!). It is so very well written, absolutely beyond perfection. In all my years, I have never deeply considered what it must have been like as a young child or teen living in Nazi Germany. This book is vividly written, and I feel as though I lived with the child characters. As a book lover and collector, this book spoke to my spirit and soul. All I can say is "READ IT." On a practical note, I think that a person who listens to this book should also have the hard copy available so that they can see the drawings within its page.
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reviewed The Book Thief on + 32 more book reviews
The characters are so vividly brought to life, this book can't help but break your heart. A story about people who have nothing yet give everything. I highly recommend this book!
reviewed The Book Thief on + 9 more book reviews
This book is an excellent depiction of Germans' (specifically Bavarians) daily life and the impact of the Nazi regime on their lives, during the time of Hitler's "reign." The people shown are 'regular' people, some wealthier than others. It is incredibly touching.
reviewed The Book Thief on
Perhaps I have reached a fatigue point with novels about the Holocaust...I felt this book was too long by at least 200 pages- and while too long, I did not feel the character development was deep enough.

This may be one case where the movie is better than the book- though I doubt it. It doesn't appear that it did too well at the box office either.

It was a good enough book to finish, but would not share with others, or read again---

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