The Book Thief

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The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Random House Children's Books | March 14, 2006 | Reinforced Library Binding |

4.6207 out of 5 rating. 87 Reviews
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The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak''s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Reinforced Library Binding

Dimensions: 560 Pages, 5.91 × 8.27 × 1.57 in

Published: March 14, 2006

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0375931007

ISBN - 13: 9780375931000

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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– More About This Product –

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Format: Reinforced Library Binding

Dimensions: 560 Pages, 5.91 × 8.27 × 1.57 in

Published: March 14, 2006

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0375931007

ISBN - 13: 9780375931000

About the Book

It's just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

"From the Hardcover edition.

Read from the Book

DEATH AND CHOCOLATE First the colors. Then the humans. That''s usually how I see things. Or at least, how I try. ***HERE IS A SMALL FACT  *** You are going to die. I am in all truthfulness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestations. Please, trust me. I most definitely can be cheerful. I can be amiable. Agreeable. Affable. And that''s only the A''s. Just don''t ask me to be nice. Nice has nothing to do with me. ***Reaction to the  *** AFOREMENTIONED fact Does this worry you? I urge you--don''t be afraid. I''m nothing if not fair. --Of course, an introduction. A beginning. Where are my manners? I could introduce myself properly, but it''s not really necessary. You will know me well enough and soon enough, depending on a diverse range of variables. It suffices to say that at some point in time, I will be standing over you, as genially as possible. Your soul will be in my arms. A color will be perched on my shoulder. I will carry you gently away. At that moment, you will be lying there (I rarely find people standing up). You will be caked in your own body. There might be a discovery; a scream will dribble down the air. The only sound I''ll hear after that will be my own breathing, and the sound of the smell, of my footsteps. The question is, what color will everything be at that moment when I come for you? What will the sky be saying? Personally, I like a chocolate-colored sky
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From the Publisher

The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak''s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Markus Zusak is the author of I Am the Messenger, a Printz Honor Book and Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist, and the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which has been translated into over thirty languages and has sold nine million copies around the world. He is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens and lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children.


From the Hardcover edition.

Author Interviews

JAB member, Bobby Hanson's Q&A with Markus Zusak author of The Book Thief 1. What influenced you to take on the daunting task of writing a story about World War II? It was a world that felt real to me. When I was growing up, my parents told us stories in the kitchen, and my brother and sisters all knew about cities of fire, and about people who risked their lives to give others some bread as they were marched to concentration camps. It was those small moments that stayed with me and resulted in this book. 2. Authors often write stories that deal with Jewish citizens during the Holocaust; however it is rare to see the War through the perspective of a young German Girl. What influenced you to take on this unique point of view? I guess that's just the side of the story I know. Like everybody else, I've grown up learning about Anne Frank and reading Schindler's Ark (then seeing Schindler's List) and The Pianist. What I also knew of was the small percentage of Germans who dared to defy Hitler, who hid Jewish people and other maligned minorities in their houses. Then, I also liked the idea of using death as the narrator. I felt like that hadn't been done before with this topic - but also that it made perfect sense. War and death go hand in hand, but what if death is afraid of us, because of all he sees us do to each other. That was the irony I needed to write the book, and it gave me the voice that excited me. 3. All of the characters in The Book Thief are so distinctly original. W
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Editorial Reviews

“Brilliant and hugely ambitious…Some will argue that a book so difficult and sad may not be appropriate for teenage readers…Adults will probably like it (this one did), but it’s a great young-adult novel…It’s the kind of book that can be life-changing, because without ever denying the essential amorality and randomness of the natural order, The Book Thief offers us a believable hard-won hope…The hope we see in Liesel is unassailable, the kind you can hang on to in the midst of poverty and war and violence. Young readers need such alternatives to ideological rigidity, and such explorations of how stories matter. And so, come to think of it, do adults.” - New York Times, May 14, 2006 " The Book Thief is unsettling and unsentimental, yet ultimately poetic. Its grimness and tragedy run through the reader''s mind like a black-and-white movie, bereft of the colors of life. Zusak may not have lived under Nazi domination, but The Book Thief deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel''s Night . It seems poised to become a classic." - USA Today "Zusak doesn’t sugarcoat anything, but he makes his ostensibly gloomy subject bearable the same way Kurt Vonnegut did in Slaughterhouse-Five : with grim, darkly consoling humor.” - Time Magazine "Elegant, philosophical and moving...Beautiful and important." - Kirkus Reviews , Starred "This hefty volume is
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Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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