The Book Thief

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The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Random House Children's Books | October 15, 2013 | Trade Paperback

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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: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 576 pages, 8.21 × 5.5 × 1.26 in

Published: October 15, 2013

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385754728

ISBN - 13: 9780385754729

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Story I started reading this book because I had to for a project and honestly I'm glad I picked this one over the 6 others. It is an amazing story and I really grew attached to Liesel. Even though I've learned about WWII in history class reading it in this work of fiction made it seem more real- personal even. It gave great insight to the power of words and how there is still good within evil.
Date published: 2014-11-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not engaging enough I was excited to read this book and then watch the film (which I haven't done yet), but ended up very disappointed. I found the book to be a very slow, boring read. I lost my focus while reading it, often.
Date published: 2014-08-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from inviting cover and title I read a lot of books but I could not even begin to finish this one. The whole book seemed so disjointed and I could never begin to enjoy the story. I know that it has been very popular but certainly not one I liked. Really very disappointed. I actually tried to read it again but finally gave up.
Date published: 2014-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A thought-provoking read While I found that the book was a bit lengthy at times, it was a very thought provoking and insightful read as to the experiences of the average German citizen during WWII - told from the perspective of an unusual and unexpected narrator. An undeniably heartfelt story of the importance of faith and love, of the ability to finding joy in what little things you may have, and ultimately, the significance of human connection. Highly recommended, even if to gain a better understand of human strife and the ability to rise above during WWII.
Date published: 2014-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Beautiful and Real This novel was just beautiful. I really loved that it was written from the point of view of Death. I loved how there lives seemed completely normal even though they were surrounded by such chaos. Great book, one of my favorites!
Date published: 2014-05-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Book Thief I found it difficult to read the first half. When I got to that point, I got caught up in the story being told and couldn't wait for it to finish.
Date published: 2014-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put this book down I just started reading this book yesterday and finished it a few hours ago. Markus has written a beautiful story and I loved how the story shifted from different points of view. I enjoyed this book so much and the storyline is incredible. This is honestly one of my favorite books now and I have recommended that my loved ones read it. (I think I am going to lend it to my Dad so he can read it). I STRONGLY recommend reading this beautiful piece of literature because I honestly fell in love with the characters.
Date published: 2014-04-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful story It's about children lives in Germany during WWII. Children who play, go to school, make friends, fight with eachother, starve and hide Jews. Who adapt to the existing reality, just having their chilhood in the war time. I like the way it's written,a little bit chaotic and poetic. It's great reading for teenagers as a an introduction to the Holocaust issue.
Date published: 2014-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A master piece, a work of art I liked, loved, ADORED this book. It was bittersweet, heavyhearted and tragic, with bursts of joy and happiness. It's one of those stories you wish were your own to keep. This book speaks for itself and you will NEVER regret getting it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2014-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It just brings the whole story together. It was a long book. The letters were so small. But then when I got half-way through it, I understood why it needed to be that long... :I It's such a great book. Characters are all unique, and most of all, the theme can relate to anyone. If you love words and books....well, you are gonna love this book. If you don't like complicated story outline where it goes back and forth from past to present to the future- you might not like it. The narrator is.... a little bit like that. Even if you dislike that kind of story line, It's a very good book. Brings up the emotion too.. Almost (Or I did) cry in the end. If you like romance stories taking place in the city during high school years...etc, it might not be your fit, but highly recommend it ;) MUST READ
Date published: 2014-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great historical fiction! Liesel is such a resilient character in a time of chaos that you can't help but adore her, even when she's doing something wrong. The author, Markus Zusak did a magnificent job at creating the funny and tragic situations, even combining them from time to time. Our host of the book, Death, isn't one to sugar coat the truth. In fact, Death often reveals twists in the plot long before they appear leaving a person waiting to see how such a thing could happen.  It centers around Liesel, a foster child who'd stolen her first book before she could even read. It navigates through a childhood while the Fuhrer's liquify rise to power coats the background. The man himself must have been one smooth talker. Either way, Liesel makes some powerful friendships that have clung to my mind long after I've put this book away. 
Date published: 2014-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read After the first few chapters I couldn't put it down. Awesome read.  
Date published: 2014-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Book Thief this book was amazing. What an interesting concept to have death narrate and to see WWII from a different viewpoint. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2014-01-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very disappointed I bought this book a few weeks ago. When I start reading a good book, I can't put it down and will read it in a day or two. To date, I have read only a few chapters as I am bored after reading only a couple of chapters and I put it down. I find the story difficult to follow because of the way it is written. I would certainly never read a book by this author again.
Date published: 2014-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eloquent, Gripping, and Inspiring I had heard many good things about this book, and decided it was time to give it a try. I can be very picky about books - yes, I'll finish every one to the end, but I can very easily dislike them. This was not the case with The Book Thief. I am convinced that Markus Zusak is one of the most brilliant writers of the modern world because of this book; his words fit together effortlessly in ways that no one else ever could have thought of. Each sentence forces the reader to reflect on their life as well as the lives in the book, and the characters truly capture all aspects of humanity and resilience. For me, Liesel and Max shone the brightest - their friendship, formed through struggle and a common love for words, made them the best part of the book. Other characters represent the true humanity of many Germans during the war, and the love of knowledge and reading that many of the characters have is gripping. Quiet when it needs to be and final at the best times, this truly is a life-changing book. The Book Thief is a perfect read for absolutely anyone. It will touch hearts, change minds, inspire, and evoke tears. I recommend it to everyone, and praise Zusak for his amazing and wonderful mind.
Date published: 2013-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely better than what I expected I want to start at the beginning, by saying that when I opened the book, I was shocked at the way it was written. I found it a bit chaotic and all over the place. However, I have to say that I got used to it quite quickly and started liking the book very fast. Since it was assigned in an English class, and we all know how we find it hard to get into a book that was assigned to us, I have to say, I am quite impressed with it. I love the way the book flows, making it easy to read. I love the small chapters, which allow you to read it pretty much anywhere without really interrupting the reading process. And I loved the story. It was beautiful, sad and very well said. The only reason why I am not giving the book 5 stars is because it's not in my style of books, but I would definitely recommend it. Now I am hoping the movie does not disappoint, though that rarely happens.
Date published: 2013-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from must read this book is a must read. I already bought it for my mom.... and well all my family are intrigued by the story. it touches generations. it's so well written for me it was a book that really got me. I read it so fast. every chance I had to read at work or even at home. i'd read it. even at the gym. I couldn't put the book down. :)
Date published: 2013-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great, Well-Written Story This book far exceeded my expectations. I thought it would be another run-of-the-mill piece of fiction, nothing to get excited about...but I was very wrong. Markus did a fabulous job of getting me attached to the main characters, making me really feel the impact from devastating events as they unfolded. The writing style was also clean and flowing, making the book an easy, understandable, and overall interesting read.
Date published: 2013-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read Before I begin my review, I would like to mention that the movie is coming out (November of 2013)!! The book was amazing so for me this is very exciting news. I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak after my great uncle Norm recommended it to me. I find books based on events in history very interesting and find it a lot easier to learn from them instead of sitting in class listening to a history lecture. However, writing a novel that incorporates historic events is really hard to do well…without boring the reader. One of the reasons I enjoyed this novel might be because I could relate to the main character, Liesel. Sure, I wasn’t in Nazi Germany or been a foster child but I do share her passion for reading. Liesel didn’t know how to read yet found books very interesting, as they were new to her. I believe that if you have a passion for something, you will do anything to feed that passion. This is the lesson of this novel. Even if it was illegal, Liesel stole books because she loved them and wouldn’t let the government stand in the way of what she loved. Overall, The Book Thief tells a story with a great lesson. The author played with my emotions, at times making me happy and at other times making me cry. This novel is a must-read for everyone (even if you are not interested in history). It is one of these novels that will change your life and make you think about what your family and friends mean to you.
Date published: 2013-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling Life Changing... I've never read a book in my life in which I felt so strongly about. The Book Thief is one of those stories that will forever stay implemented within my mind and its a story that I know has changed my outlook on life. I know. How could a book have such an effect on someone? It's crazy to think that this sort of situation has happened before, throughout and during the Holocaust, and having read one girl's story has really opened my eyes to past realities, realities that would occur each and every day. All the characters within this masterpiece are so beautifully constructed, and although some could be annoying, you grow to feel love and appreciation for them, and that is what a real story is able to do. This book was both hard and easy for me to read. It was easy because it was so well written, so I easily flew through the pages, but its contents was difficult to get through at times, especially near the end of the book. The story got really heavy and I began to get very emotional. When all chaos breaks loose in Liesel's world, she must go through a life of despair, regret and sorrow, one that may be fixed, but never forgotten. She must carry these weights on her shoulders throughout her life time, and she does just this, until the very day she dies, when death comes sweeping in, taking her soul to be reunited with the ones she once knew so very well. This story is so heart wrenching. It pulls at you so roughly that at times you just want to break down, curl up in a ball and cry. I can't even imagine living a life of such hell and sorrow. It makes me more appreciative of what I have in life. This book has changed me, and I encourage everyone from the bottom of my heart to change their lives too.
Date published: 2013-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourites This is one of my favourite books of all time. I loved the writing style. It was so clever and not cliché. The characters had a lot of depth,the settings and emotions were very well described, and it caused you to be brought deeply into the story. It is a harder read, but I like that. The book keeps you on your toes, challenges you, and causes you to think, which, in my opinion, is what any good book should do!
Date published: 2013-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So, so good! What a fantastic read - couldn't put it down. Don't let the fact that it's in the young fiction section fool you. It's engrossing.
Date published: 2013-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Book Thief Think you wouldn’t enjoy a book narrated by Death? Think again. Death is at work in Nazi Germany cleaning up Adolf Hitler’s mess and catching glimpses of the book thief's life. Leisel Meminger’s hard-scrabble life as a foster child has just enough love to balance out the misery, and just enough hope to sustain her through the stresses of life in Nazi Germany. She doesn’t set out to become a book thief, but life—and death—point her in that direction. We like Death in this book. Factual, whimsical, down-to-earth, and reaching for the sky, Death brings the objects and people in the story to life. Zusak creates an amenable voice for Death and manages to make it a sympathetic character. We want to curl up at the feet of this Death and listen to the story. Maybe have a friendly conversation. Zusak plays with language and images, and his pages vibrate with living energy. Sometimes I stopped to admire his turns of phrase. He specializes in personification. When a plane fell from the sky, it was “still coughing. Smoke was leaking from both its lungs.” A destroyed soccer ball was left “twitching on the cold, blistered road.” He uses foreshadowing often and effectively. He tells us what’s going to happen, but we don’t know how, or when, or to whom. We keep reading to find out. Occasionally he over-reaches, tries a little too hard, and the literary comparisons don’t quite work. Boys being examined for admission to a Nazi school “cupped their genitals in their hands and shivered like the future.” What does that mean? You might think a book narrated by Death and set in Nazi Germany would be ponderous and depressing. Zusak describes the horrors of life in World War II and Nazi Germany with unflinching clarity, but his characters are so real, and likeable, and enduring we feel the hope more than the horror.
Date published: 2013-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathe Taking Before reading the book I was told that people found it slow and couldn't get in to the book but I read it any way, thankfully. I could not put this book down it was so good. It's different than most books set in WWII since it's about a German family. But the thing I like the most about the book is up until the end of the book you don't know who's point of view the book is told from. Although the ending of the book is horribly sad, this book is defiantly a tearjerker I still love it. One the the best books you could possibly read.
Date published: 2013-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Book Thief This is an amazing book that I could not put down. It is a wonderful historic fiction, though classed as teen is definitely appropriate for any age group. Books almost never make me cry but this one had me in tears by the end.
Date published: 2012-10-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow...really liked the unfolding of the story...difficult topic Adversity is what comes to mind, but the story has a unique take on how the story unfolds/told in Germany during WWII. Whereby you get to meet Death and his thoughts about Liesel, Rudy, Hans and Max, as he takes souls away from this life (to heaven? or ? guess we will never know). Tough subject to write about as there is lots of pain (physical, mental, and psycological), but knowing these characters all come together and show deep respect and love for one another regardless of the circumstances. Love the last paragraph. Highly Recommend
Date published: 2012-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical. This book caught my eye becuase of all the good reviews I've seen. I was not disappointed. This book was told through a very unique prespective. Death. The book reminded me very much of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. The foster father, Hans, posessed many qualities I saw in Atticus Finch while the fearless Liesel was a mirror of Scout. This book had many conflicts and the way it all sort of combined together was a talent that Markus Zusak proved he had. The word choices and the excepts from many of the Book Thief's stolen books sounded like magic. The only part I didn't enjoy was the fact that sometimes the book can be a little slow. There were some (very few) parts that I thought Zusak could have taken out. But the final conclusion of this book gave me a good shiver. A very well written and emotional book. Cheers.
Date published: 2012-08-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Just Kiss Rudy! I cannot criticize an award-winning novel that creatively depicts a Jewish man hiding in a German family's basement during WWII -- all the while, spending his days painting over Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" so that he may create his own book to pass the time. The story is amazing.... told through the eyes of both the Grim Reaper and a young German girl who learns a thing or two about life, and a thing or two about this young Jewish man hiding in her basement.
Date published: 2012-07-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A good young persons introduction to WWII The story is written in first person by death (the grim reaper). Two different types of font are used to differentiate between the narration, and death’s personal comments. This made it difficult to read, since it broke the reader’s concentration. The writing style is very clunky. It is written for a young adult audience, so this could have been the reason for that this style was used. The author’s use of suspense, foreshadowing was disappointing. He bluntly informs the reader of what the next event will be, and then 3 pages later, at the most, the event occurs. This book would be good for introducing World War II, foreshadowing, and suspense to a young audience.
Date published: 2012-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All time favourite The Book Thief is the story of a little girl living outside Munich, Germany during World War II. Nazi Germany. She can't resist books, so she steals them. Her foster father teaches her to read. He plays the accordion. They hide a Jewish man in their basement. People die. I felt like this book tore my heart out. And that's all I can ever think to say when it comes to this book. That it tore out my heart and stomped on it. I can't explain what it is about this book that affected me so much. Maybe because it's so raw and true. Maybe because it's about a little girl. Maybe because it's told from Death's point of view. Whatever it was, it sucked me in and kept me turning pages until I'd read all 550 of them. And I cried. I just had so many conflicting emotions in this book. The way it was written, you knew what was going to happen, you just didn't know when. Death would mention something that was going to happen, but then say it comes later and leave it at that. I always felt like I was tensing for the impact that I knew was coming, but after a little while I started to loosen up, and then BAM! Markus Zusak would just hit me with the reality of it all. Whether it was Rudy or Max or Hans or even Liesel who was affected, it hit me just as hard each and every single time.
Date published: 2012-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerfully Poetic The Book Thief is about a young girl, Liesel, and her journey through Nazi Germany. Along the way, she makes the greatest of friends and the deepest of loves. She ties a little piece of her heart to all the characters she meets, from her papa Hans and her mama Rosa, to Jewish fist-fighting Max, to the mayor's wife and to her best friend Rudy. She blooms with each relationship, opening up her past, writing her story, and moving forward. Each book she steals is a memory, each book a reminder, each book an escape from a reality far from what she wanted. Her last book an escape for Death. I loved this book. This may not be one of my very favourites, but it was a wonderful read nonetheless. It took a while to get going in the beginning, but at the same time, it kept me reading. Zusak has a way with words in this novel that left me breathless and nodding my head in agreement. It has so many passages worth quoting and loving. I really liked how Death seemed to not enjoy his job a great deal. It is very different from other portrayals of Death. Made dying a little more light, I guess. I can only say so much about how well written the story is, however it did have its lows. One thing that particularly annoyed me (which was why this didn't get a perfect 5) is the interruptions by Death. They are literally little interruptions and side notes that could have just been written normally along with the text. A little here and there would have all been well and good, but they constantly appear and after a while - when I was really into the story - they became annoying. Maybe it’s not the interruptions themselves but the way they were written, or organized that bothered me. A second thing I was not fond of was that Death told me who died. Death told me, and the suspense was killed off. I really don't know if it was a good move or not, but it bothered me a little bit. However, I can see it as being something that added to the sadness in the book because by knowing, the reader lost all hope that maybe it will turn out differently. The closer I got to the end, the more heartbreaking every sentence seemed to be. Maybe, yes, it's knowing the inevitable, and having no hope that it might turn out otherwise. I loved Liesel, Hans, and Rosa, but Rudy stole my heart. His outgoing personality, his friendliness, his resistance to bullies like Victor Chemell and Franz Deutscher. His completely stupid way of copying Jesse Owens. Even the way he always asks a kiss from Liesel. His unconditional love for her was beautiful to read about. And her clueless love for him was devastating. Rudy was a child, growing into a man, and I loved his character. Even though this book had its lows, it was still a book worth reading for me.
Date published: 2011-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of My Favorites I chose this book as my selection for my bookclub and it was a huge hit with the whole group - not a bad review among the bunch! The characters were so beautifully developed - there was room in my heart for even those who were "the enemy". This book offered yet another perspective to an issue that many of us have been moved by. This book is now without a doubt among my top ten reads of all time. I highly recommend it - and not just to the young adult set, but to anyone.
Date published: 2011-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! A Must-Read! I don't remember how I found this book, but I am extremely glad I did. I absolutely adooored this book. It really changed my perspective of everything, and when I had finished it, I found myself completely speechless with tears in my eyes. Really a great novel!
Date published: 2011-08-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Liked it, but it didn't blow me away. 3.5 stars This story is narrated by Death and is set during World War II in Germany. Liesel is a young girl, living with Hans and Rosa, who are her foster parents. She has a best friend, Rudy, and a new friend in Max, a Jew who comes to hide in Hans and Rosa's basement. Liesel learns that she loves books, and along with Rudy, they steal books from the mayor's wife's library. I liked it, but it didn't blow me away like it did for most people. I don't know if it was because I listened to the audio or because my expectations were too high, or for some other reason, but the story didn't grip me. I did enjoy a lot of the characters in the book, in particular, Hans and Max, with Rosa coming in close behind. I thought it was clever to be narrated by Death. The ending did surprise me.
Date published: 2011-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak I chose The Book Thief by Markus Zusak as my non-American author pick for my YA Summer Challenge because my son had read it for school and it had really affected him. He asked me to read it so we could discuss it together. How could I say no? This book started out very slow. I was tempted to stop reading it a few chapters in because it dragged quite a bit. The opening is confusing and the story is rushed as the narrator, who happens to be death (and how cool is that?), tells the reader the three times he met the book thief. I found it very jumbled and unsure what the author was trying to get from this. Luckily things smoothed out more as death backtracked and went through each event with more detail that he has learned from reading the book thief's journal which he picked up during one event. Ignoring the opening sequences of the book, I can safely say Markus Zusak is an extraordinary writer. His language and writing style far surpass many authors I have read. His grasp on characters is amazing. Zusak just doesn't write out the standard characters and fill their story, and back story, etc...he breathes life into them and let's them jump off the pages in leaps and bounds. I don't know if I have ever read such realistic characters. Every single character is easily distinguishable from each other...Rosa with her cardboard face, Papa with his silver eyes, Rudy with his yellow hair...no one character is muddled in with another. The personalization of the characters is also very well done. We have a story set Germany in the the early years of WWII, thus the characters predominantly are German. Some readers might expect to be reading about the cruelness of the military presence that is known to have occurred during those years, and although we do see some of it (the story wouldn't be realistic without it) the majority of the story is based on a poor German family and how even though they are German and expected to hate the Jews and support everything their country tells them to support, they see how everything they are told is wrong. They go so far as to hide a Jew in their basement, even at great personal risk to themselves. Parts of the story are so heartbreaking I thought I would be unable to continue reading past the tears that flowed from my eyes. The tragedies were often expected, people die during wars, but it didn't stop it from affecting me deeply when I read those sections. I can see now why my son cried while reading this book. I think my favorite parts of the book are the chapter openings. Each one gives you a little brief peek into what the chapter will cover. It was a very unique way of introducing each chapter. I really wanted to give this book a perfect 5 rating, but due to the slow and confusing start I just couldn't.
Date published: 2011-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Book I have Ever Read I have never read a book where I felt so connected to the characters. Every aspect of the book was so deep and had so much thought put in to it. When the book ended it felt like losing a best friend. Many authors have attempted to do a similar writing style using the double perspective that is presented here, but none have succeeded to the extent that Markus Zusak did.
Date published: 2011-06-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Read I went through this book in under three days. Very rarely have I cried while reading a book as I did during 'The Book Thief.' So far, it's my favourite publication from this author.
Date published: 2011-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak -- 1939 in Nazi Germany: Liesel Meminger was dropped off my her mother at the house of two strangers, her new foster parents. A couple days after her little brother passed away, Liesel thinks that nothing could be worse. But with her first book already stolen, she is on her way into her new life. A life growing up on Himmel street, and the life of living in Nazi Germany with a Jew hiding in your basement. In love with words, Liesel takes to book stealing, whether in the mayor’s wife’s library, Nazi book burnings, or wherever there are books to be found. With the war and Hitler constantly at the back of everybody’s minds, it’s a dangerous time – especially for Liesel and the Hubermman’s, and anybody else that is hiding in their house. -- After reading the prologue to this book, I was extremely confused. I started to doubt whether this book was at my level or not because I was having a hard time understanding the beginning part. But when I flipped to the first page of Liesel’s story, I knew that this book was going to be impossible to forget. The writing is beautiful from the very first page, and as I continued on my eyes grew wider because it just keeps getting better. I absolutely loved how Death was the narrator throughout the story. The pieces of writing where Death put in what it was thinking and stuff, I was blow away. I thought it was such an interesting way to tell the story, and in this story in particular it worked perfectly with the subject. I loved how the story was told, instead of making a climax or creating mystery, it was just said like it was, if somebody died in the future of the book, Death just told you right away. No big deal. It happens. Another thing I really appreciated about this story was the seriousness combined with just a story of a little girl’s life growing up. This book was a nice break from all the repetitive teen fiction that just piles up and up and up. I have to admit, this is one of the first books that I actually wanted to read again right after I finished it. I folded down the pages that I thought had amazing writing, and I do plan on reading this book over and over and over and over again. I LOVE THIS BOOK. The first book that I have actually loved. So there you have it. I don’t care if you think this book is overrated or whatever, because I think it’s amazing, and I recommend it to anybody, even if you usually don’t like historic fiction like me. THIS IS A 6 OUT OF 5. So yeah, no graph thing sorry. :P I don’t know if this is his website exactly, but you can get some info on Markus Zusak from here. http://www.randomhouse.com/features/markuszusak/ Later Cheese Graters, MRR
Date published: 2011-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books I have ever read This book is unbelievably well written. Even without using a complex story the author manages to continually keep the reader engaged and you never want to put it down. The way that he writes from the perspective of a soul stealer and from the perspective of the girl takes a while to get used to but continually intrigues the reader. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Date published: 2011-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Left Me Speechless It's rare to find a book that can make you stop for a moment and marvel at such beautiful use of language. This is certainly one of them. Zusak has a way with words that wraps you up in the character's world so profoundly. I was expecting this to be a harsh story about concentration camps or the like, but it turned out to be a story simply about love. It left me speechless for days after turning the last page. Zusak's writing is haunting and his characters feel like old friends. One of the best reads I've had in a long time.
Date published: 2011-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enchanting There are only a handful of books that I've come across wherein I stop dead in my tracks and marvel at the authors' astounding use of language. This book definitely is being added to that handful. It may seem a bit tedious upon first glance -- another WWII book about oppression and Jews in hiding -- but it is full of so much vigour and life, that I can't say enough about it. The characters are amazingly life-like, and the language which Zusak chooses to employ perfectly echoes the novel's themes of loneliness and loss in a way that makes a depressing topic seem less devastating.
Date published: 2011-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful What a beautiful book for anyone of all ages to read. I cried as I finished it. My parents grew up during the German occupation of Denmark. My father never spoke of it, my mother did but has been unable to forget or to forgive. I would love to have her read this book for her to see the beauty and kindness during that ugly period in history. Highly recommend this.
Date published: 2011-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book. I'm glad my sister recommended me this book. It has a very moving and touching story that goes on during the war while teaching readers about life and the relationships we create with the people we meet along the way.
Date published: 2010-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful I was uncertain about getting this book at first as I'm not a fan of WWII books but it had good reviews and so I decided to take a chance. It wasn't so much the story as the way it was written that I absolutely loved. Very entertaining, original and moving.
Date published: 2010-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Written beautifully from start to finish this book has left me speechless.
Date published: 2010-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible... If you want to read an amazing story about a young girl that perserveres through every misfortune that you can imagine, this is the one for you. A very moving novel about World War 2 Germany, it touches on all the aspects of this period. The author is never heavy-handed in this respect but treats everything with a sensitive and captivating touch. This novel is very engaging and its length (500+ pages) will prove to be no obstacle at all - you will blow right through the book as you become enthralled by the characters and story herein. A definite must-read.
Date published: 2010-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Reviews Tell It All: Beautiful I was so skeptical when I picked up The Book Thief at Chapters. I heard so many magnificent things about this book, but I always wondered if it was one of those books you would either love or you hate. Maybe it is, and I'm just on the "Love it" side, but I was truly blown away by Zusak's ability to portray so much depth and beauty in 500+ pages. After watching her little brother die on a train ride to Munich, Germany, Liesel Meminger's life changes when she reaches for a half buried book in the snow: The Grave Digger's Handbook. Thus begins a journey of book thieving in the nine-year-old's life as she is dropped off by her mother at her new foster parent's house: the Hubermanns. The year is 1939 and the war is just beginning. Life in Nazi Germany isn't easy, and Liesel discovers the power of words as she learns to read with her new father, steals apples and books with her best friend, and forms a beautiful friendship with Max, the Jew her family is hiding in their basement. Liesel faces many challenges in her new life including bullies, first love, bombing, guilt, regret, loss and family. The people she meet along the way are each so uniquely different and as you read on, you grow to love each of them, no matter how small their part. Rudy Steiner, Liesel's best friend, saves her plenty of times. From simple things like retrieving a lost book from a lake, or pulling her out of a whipping from the Nazi soldiers. Hans Hubermann, Liesel's foster father, soothes her back to sleep every night after her nightmare and teaches her to read her stolen books. Rosa Hubermann, her foster mother, is a prune at most times, but her love and affection for Liesel does not go unnoticed. Max is the Jew the Hubermanns are hiding in their basement, and his journey and past he shares with Liesel brings the two closer than ever. I am not a fan of history books. At all. I hate learning about the past and the effects of it and all of that. Absolutely hate it. But this one book I couldn't put down. The story is narrated by Death, which is so different and perfect because the story is set during the war. We see that the narrator is not what we always think of (black robe and scythe), but just another being that is surprised by the human race. Many parts were so touching and beautifully written that I couldn't hold back some silent tears. Zusak is like a poet with his words; in the back of the book in the questionnaire, he states that he wanted to put a gem on each page, and he did exactly that. Not one page was left out with something quotable. In this unforgiving time, Zusak leads us through the life of a Jew and his suffering, a family who doesn't believe in their ruler, and a small German child who brings out the best in us as she learns about the power of words in this brilliant, stunning and beautifully written story of The Book Thief.
Date published: 2010-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Top 10 Book on My Reading List! The Book Thief is an amazing read. It is one of those gems you stumble upon, and then wish the whole world knew about. I think it is a real mistake that Chapters lists it as a 10-12 year old book, because it is timeless, and ageless. I would list it as teen to adult myself. There is what I would call an unfortunate editorial choice made in this book. The prologue is very obscure, and even an adult might be tempted to put the book down because of this opening 15 pages. Please continue reading!! It is a fascinating, compelling journey to the last page of the book. Everyone I have recommended this book to has loved it.
Date published: 2010-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Don't miss this book... I still remember the feeling I had the first time I read The Diary of Anne Frank. I was probably about 11 or 12. No teacher could have explained the horrors of Nazi Germany to me as well as Anne did. She was speaking to me. Many years later, I visited her attic annex and it was a profound experience. Reading The Book Thief was also a profound experience for me. I don’t even know how to begin to talk about The Book Thief. The New York Times said it was “the kind of book that can be life changing.” I mean, you start a book like that with a little trepidation: can it really live up to all the hype? For the first 30 pages or so I thought, “no.” Last night, as I closed the book and wiped the tears away I thought, “every person alive should read this book. I want to teach this book.” The Book Thief has so many things going for it, I’m not sure where to start singing its praises. The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger. Liesel is almost ten when she ends up in Molching with Hans and Rosa Hubermann, her new foster parents. It is 1939. In Nazi Germany. Readers are either going to be totally enchanted or annoyed by the story’s central conceit: the novel is narrated by Death. “Here is a small fact, ” Death tells us. “You are going to die.” For the next 500-plus pages, Death is our constant companion. Sometimes the action unfolds without commentary, other times he weighs in. Although I found the first 30 pages or so a bit of a slog, I soon settled into the book’s rhythms. Then I fell in love with Liesel. And Hans. And Rudy. And Rosa. Liesel is extraordinary. She and Hans bond late at night, when Liesel’s nightmares wake her, and Hans teaches her to read. Books and words are central to Liesel’s story. So is her friendship with Rudy, the boy next door. Through their eyes we see Hitler and Nazi Germany; we experience the atrocities and the small kindnesses. Zusak’s story is mostly about everyday things: hunger, pettiness, laughter, hope, cruelty and kindness. Liesel is sustained by the books she steals and anyone who loves words will appreciate and understand their ability to comfort Liesel. But she is also intelligent enough to understand how words can be used to hurt and coerce. Where is Death in all this? He carts the souls of the dead off and is, in this story at least, a loving and benign figure. Death gets the last word. He always does.
Date published: 2010-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from If you believe this is "life changing"...u need to get out more. People calm down. Average rating of five out of five- uhm no. I can see how this is classified in kids books – especially today’s kids. But as an adult I could also see how people see it as suitable for older readers too. For me it was hot and cold; don’t believe the hype so much even though it was good. Things that worked: Story line and originality. I am fairly tired about books that have as themes or settings involving a) “the great wars” or b) the holocaust. Sorry I know that sounds harsh but I haven’t lived it and I can’t relate to most of it. BUT I will give Zusack credit that he does a better job with these two topics than most other books I have read. Though I could not relate to others who have tried before him, he drew me in by making it all very real and human. The story teller (Death) is original as a serious character (for a comical slant on a Death Character see Christopher Moore – A Dirty Job) and has so much potential but I feel it is ruined by the authors handling of it –see things that did not work- below. He writes great characters and wields their on-page personalities well by being clear but not over the top overt. It is in the subtleties that he finds their reality; a very tough thing to do. Almost like by NOT saying what a character is he manages to define them so well. I also think that he develops and then manages tension and presence so well. I felt like I was actually witnessing some of things he described in the story. Things that did not work: Those annoying almost cutesy statements in bold throughout the story. Either they were too blunt or they were redundant in purpose. They disjointed the story and almost like a commercial break in a movie, they pulled me out of the story instead of leaving me immersed. I feel that if he had left them out the story would have been much much better. Truly without them I feel this would have been classic literature for our time. If the intent was to alleviate the heavy subject matter, I think comical exploits with the children characters would have been more effective. And I didn’t think he handled symbolism so well. The dominos scene seemed like it was plonked into the story as an after-thought. And finally, the pace of the book seemed unbalanced to me. The whole story lays itself out well by simply documenting events that may cause tension but aren’t really tragic or emotionally charged. And then suddenly the author “blows his load” entirely in the last 50 pages. The last 50 pages consumes the reader with such complete over-the-top emotion that I felt drained at the end. Wanting more but feeling not able to handle it. Not subtle; like a 20 year old with an expensive car, or baby with a hand gun. A good read that I would recommend but don’t believe the hype on this website or on the cover that says, “Life changing”. If that were so, you need to get out more.
Date published: 2010-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breath Taking. I cannot express how utterly amazing this book is. It is truly life-altering. The theme has made me realise the importance of words, not only in books, but my words. For simply reading this novel I have become a much better writer. Regardless, I reccomend this novel to everyone, not just to read but to analyse. Trust me, you will be "blown away". You will fall in love with the characters, feel like Molching is your home, and you will cry, oh yes you will cry, but it will be worth it. Read this book, end of story.
Date published: 2009-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful and Emotionally Gripping You know those rare books that you'll come across a couple times where it will completely change you? Where you'll be held in a spell-binding grasp to keep reading? Where you'll feel yourself so immersed in the world of the characters and just lost in the story? Well, The Book Thief is one of them. Told from Death's point of view during World War II in Nazi Germany, the book is simply, in one word, extraordinary. The writing style is just so unique, filled with dark humour and although the first pages or so take some getting used to, you'll soon find yourself right in the story. Leisel Meminger steals her first book at her brother's graveside, and so the Book Thief begins.When Leisel arrives at the home of her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, little does she expect the new life in store for her- and her country, and better yet, the world. Death might be telling Leisel's story, but he's also rather busy carrying souls. As times progresses, Liesel learns how to read and write with her papa's help, makes a best friend in Rudy Steiner, becomes accustomed to life on Himmel Street in Molching, steals some more books... and oh yeah, helps hide a Jewish man by the name of Max Vandenburg in their basement, who soon becomes a friend. May I remind you that this is Nazi Germany? I know this description doesn't serve the book justice at all, but I do hope it's enough to spark your interest and encourage you to read this novel. The novel brought tears to my eyes throughout the story and by the end of the novel... I was full out crying. Powerful and emotionally gripping, The Book Thief is a definite must read.
Date published: 2009-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I hate this book. Like allot of other, I had trouble reading it. The first few pages left me regretting the $15.99 I spent on this book. But once I hit chapter one, I decided to brave the book and finish it. The thing about this book, is it's the type you love and you hate- or it was that way for me, anyway. The things I loved about the book where also the things I hated about it. I hated how death narrated the book, and I hated how he always pulled you out of the story to give his innermost thoughts. I hated how it said, point blank, that a character was going to die, then told me the details of it, and left me cringing whenever it seemed like it was coming. I hated how it took me two weeks to finish this book, and how much it got me thinking about the characters and story. I hated how much it made me feel uneasy whenever I picked it up, fearing what I knew was coming. I hated when I felt my heart squeeze in sadness when it was over, and I hate how I'll probably re-read this book instead of moving onto the next one. I hate how much of an impact this book has had on me, and I hate that I'll probably be spending all of my money on books about the Holocaust now. But most of all I hate how much I cried when I finished the book, and how much regret I felt for not reading this it sooner. If you want to read this book, get ready to have a love-hate relationship with everything about it. I hate and respect you deeply, Markus Zusak.
Date published: 2009-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spell-binding and gripping What magnificient reading! The life of Leisel Memminger, who takes up book-stealing in 1941 Nazi-Germany. The characters are mesmorizing and the setting feels incredibly real..I felt myself actually there amongst them on Himmel street during the bomb raids huddled in thebasmeent of a neighbour!
Date published: 2009-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different Far from what I expected but definitely a good read. At first I was sceptical about this book and found the writing style very odd, but it grew on me and I ended up really enjoying the book. It is a sad story, as most WW2 novels are, but will lead any reader to a better understanding of the events of WW2 in Europe. I have read many books on this subject and the Book Thief was a fresh and original novel that explores the German side of the war. What I didn't like about the novel was how many of the major events were revealed by Death before they actually happened. This took away the suspense in the story - which was negative for me.
Date published: 2009-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from sad but beautiful - original The Book Thief by Markus Zusak The Book Thief is Markus Zusak’s debut novel. The novel is narrated by death. Death will visit the book thief three times. It is an angry but beautiful coming of age tale. I loved this moving and thought provoking book about Lieser and her foster family on Himmler Street in Germany during the Second World War. Lieser is a nine year old girl whose parents have been sent to concentration camps. She witnesses of the horror of Nazi Germany and buries her beloved brother. At his funeral she steals a book her only reminder of her brother. It starts a trend she begins to collect books. Her step father teaches her to read and they spend many pleasurable hours together reading . Her reading is an escapism from the horrors of war. The book reasserts the importance of life and the significance of words to impact on lives. A vivid description of daily survival in Nazi Germany. I highly recommend this book. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap. Product details from Amazon http://astore.amazon.com/annduniriwri-20 Title: The Book Thief Author: Markus Zusak Publisher: Black Swan ISBN: 978-0552773898 Genre: young adult and adult fiction My Rating : 5/5 Paperback: 560 pages Customer Reviews 452 Reviews 5 star: (338) 4 star: (52) 3 star: (24) 2 star: (20) 1 star: (18) Average Customer Review 4.5 out of 5 stars (452 customer reviews)
Date published: 2009-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put It Down This book was AMAZING! I usually don't read books that have to do with war but this one has to be an exception! I love the narration of it, and Leisel's character grasps your attention. I highly recommend this book. If you wanta good read (that's not romantic) that deals with REAL life (or at least a few years ago) READ IT :) Just read it.
Date published: 2009-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent read! I wish I read this earlier! It's such a good read, despite the atmosphere and setting of the story. The basis of this novel takes place prior to and during the Second World War, with Death as the main narrator and a girl named Liesel as the focal character. As we all know what took place during this period of time, you can't help but hope that the travesty will not penetrate the already broken world of Liesel and her tiny town, and keep wishing that there might be a happy ending. (You will have to read this book to find out if there is one!) The use of Death as the narrator is a very interesting choice on the author's part, but what makes it more unique is Death's view of the humans on this earth. He sees them as a mystery that always surprises and as well, making sense of their actions or thoughts will always allude him/her. What makes this novel even more special is the mini story within this story. It's not often that a novelist will draw and create a storybook type tale within their works. It was very original and gave the storyline more depth. ENJOY!!
Date published: 2009-04-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not What I had hoped for, just okay “I had high hopes for this book based on the description on the back, but it was just okay. The feature of having Death narrate the story is novel and clever, and he has some good moments and some very good lines. The overall story however, is a bit slow-moving and clunky. Although I liked Liesel (the book thief of the title) and some of the other characters who come through her life, the way the whole book came together just didn't grab my attention. In fairness to the author, probably part of the issue was the setting - Nazi Germany - and the sad and depressing environment that many Germans (and all Jews) were trapped in during this time, but what COULD have been a really exciting story with drama and peaks valleys of intensity, was instead just a plodding story that kind of dragged itself along. It wasn't a BAD book, just not one of the ones that I couldn't put down. ”
Date published: 2009-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful tale, beautifully told. This was an incredibly intense reading experience. I loved this book and everything about it. I loved the characters, the writing style, the unusual narration, the pictures that form part of the story, the emotional depth, the messages buried deep within it. I was captivated, drawn in, completely integrated with Leisel's life and experiences. I mourned her losses and cheered her triumphs. I loved her loves -- maybe even more than she did. In fact, I found myself urging her to be more forthcoming with her emotions. And I found myself crying when she realized that she wished the same thing -- too late.
Date published: 2009-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Can't-Put-Down Book I absolutely loved this book, lived it along side Liesel. My own family history brings it closer to home, personalizes certain points. Every character in this book came to life for me, in particular Max...for some reason...disbelieving his strength yet honoring it, knowing that there were many more like him during the Nazi regime who survived on the pure deserve to see the sun rise another day.
Date published: 2009-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful!! Death (sans sickle or scythe) narrates the story of the "book thief", a 9 yr old girl named Liesel, as she arrives in her new foster home in a Jewish neighbourhood just outside Munich, Germany before the start of the Second World War. I was completely absorbed in this novel. It's such a wonderful book and who knew Death could be so sentimental? Personally, I enjoyed it better than the "The Diary of Anne Frank". I give it two thumbs way up!
Date published: 2009-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMG!!!!! this is probly one of my all time fav books!!! i had to pase myself just so i wouldnt finish it all in one day! i didnt want to have to put it down!! i reccomed this book to EVERYONE!!! it did rounds at my moms work, and they all loved it! DO NOT MISS OUT ON READING THIS BOOK!!!
Date published: 2008-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic This is a fantastic book for all ages. It shouldn't just be labelled for kids 10-12, in fact, I think it's almost too graphic for kids of that age. It is an extremely powerful book, that completely draws you into the story. I've never seen a writing style such as Zusak's. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something truly moving and wonderfully well-written.
Date published: 2008-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! My sister had told me about this book and funny enough when I found it was a "young reader" I wasn't too sure about reading it, am I ever glad I did. I loved the characters and although I did not live during the time period, I felt from various things I have read it depicted what Germany must have been like during the War. I liked all the characters and I must say most stories I have read have been from the Jewish perspective; rightfully so but this one was an excellent account of what Germany was like for some Germans during World War II. I like that it explained the Hitler Youth requirement and I felt sorry for the youth. I laughed and I cried and I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Don't be put off by it being for a young reader. It is an exceptional story and you would miss out on a great read.
Date published: 2008-11-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but wrong age rating This is a fantastic book, but Indigo has erroneously labeled it as being suitable for 10-12 year olds. This is really misleading and I would suggest changing that. Markus Zusak's other works were for young readers, but this is for older teens and adults, in my view. However, that being said, it is terrific and should be given to younger readers with some prefacing.
Date published: 2008-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping Story Molching Germany 1939, Liesel Meminger is taken in by a foster family Hans and Rosa Huberman when her mother is forced to abandon her. She arrives with very little possessions; one of them is a book she had stolen from her brother’s burial place “he Digger’s Handbook”. Hans, a kind man, spends his nights keeping Leisel’s nightmares at bay by teaching her to read. She falls in love with words and reading becomes an obsession, books are a luxury for a poor family. During this time, Hitler gains more power and decides that he would rule the world with words, Germany becomes a dangerous place and the people live in constant fear. During a book burning session Liesel rescues a smouldering book from the pile and later on becomes a full-fledge book thief when she steals a book from the library of the mayor. This is a gripping story told from DEATH’S POINT OF VIEW, a very unique method of storytelling. A book about many things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, Jewish misery and a lot of thievery. I have to share with those saying that the brilliance of this book is not in the plot but in the narrative. Death is personified and narrates the story in a tone mixed with sadness and cynicism involving Nazis and Jews. The tale is surprisingly gentle while effectively portraying the atrocities and the horrors of World War11. Regrettably some adults may miss the experience of this book, as it is marketed for young adults and teenagers. Some passages are profound and the subtle nuances could be missed by younger teens. It is a fantastic read with an emotional impact.
Date published: 2008-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of a kind. The Book Thief was amazing. A friend handed it to me, and I'm a harsh critic of books that I haven't picked myself. This didn't let me down, I was hooked from the beginning and by the end I was in tears. The message and symbolism in this is profound. It's tragic and helpless and it reminds everyone about the cost of war: for the Jews of the Second World War, the Germans and those caught in between. It was different reading this from the German girl's point of view, and having death as the narrator, but that made it more unique and incredible. It is humbling and unforgettable picking up the Book Thief.
Date published: 2008-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! A truly touching and honest story. Young adult fiction is really underestimated, this book should be read by all.
Date published: 2008-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read this! This novel is classified as Young Adult, but it is being widely and enthusiastically read by adults. Every time I mention it at readings, a shout goes up. As a writer, I was delighted by Zusak's creative and charming P.O.V. (the story is told by Death, with humour and sensitivity). As a reader, I was enchanted. The subject is grim (Nazi Germany), but what's interesting is that Zusak brings it down to the day-to-day realities. And, at the heart of the story, love of reading, of books. Enormously touching.
Date published: 2008-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read it and be forever changed! This book is so truly memorable. The author's voice is so interesting and mesmerizing. He paints a picture of war and death through the eyes of a little girl, and the character of Death. Zusack's use of language is nothing short of spellbinding. His story becomes a part of your own memories, so vivid is his descriptions.
Date published: 2008-03-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Fell Asleep Reading It! To all you suspense lovers out there, DON"T BUY THIS BOOK! I love books about World War 2 and was told this one was awesome. It wasn't. The plot is really boring and even though it takes place in World War 2, there wasn't really anything in it about World War 2! Sure, it gives you tiny fragments of it but overall, it's about a girl named Leisel who does nothing but read stolen books all the time. I would not recommend this book.
Date published: 2008-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book reminded me of why I love to read. There are books that you read, and then there are books that meld with you, become a part of you, entwine with your soul. The Book Thief is one such book. It was, like so many of my books, a selection for the book club with which I am tenuously associated, and, like so many others, I didn't get it read in time. I started reading it in early January, and got about a quarter of the way in, when I put it down and didn't get a chance to pick it up again. Fast-forward to early last week, when I taught a couple of English classes who were reading their independent novels all period. I was hooked, reeled in, and landed. I don't know how much to say because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. I don't know if I can explain without saying too much. The choice of narrator was brilliant, for he (I say "he", but ...?) is truly everywhere and all-knowing, and plays such a role in the story. In every story, in fact, when you think about it. The characters become living, breathing people -- and, given the setting, they very well could have been. I will never forget them, the snapshots taken with words. Words -- the book is all about the power of words. How they can enslave. How they can set you free. How they can deceive, and how they can shed light on the truth. This book is now a part of me. I suggest you read it and see if it becomes a part of you, too. It takes a little bit to get used to the style of the narration, but the resulting intimacy is well worth it. Good things grow slowly, in order to be all the more strong.
Date published: 2008-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tremendous Absolutely brilliant!! 5 stars is not enough.
Date published: 2008-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING READ!!! this book is one of the best books ever written. It is written from death's point of view during the second world war. it is heartbreakingly beautiful, a story about a young german girl who longs to learn how to read and who steals books when given the opportunity. set in the backdrop of nazi germany, it also has referral to the holocaust and how one person can make a huge difference in someone's life, even just giving a man a piece of bread. If you have the chance to read this book, do it!
Date published: 2008-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book set in WWII. This is an amazing book - only partly because it is narrated by death! (Death isn't a bad guy - he's just doing his job). It traces Liesel through the disappearance of her father and her trek to a foster family. How she steals books and learns to read. How she keeps true to herself in the middle of Nazi Germany. It is a fabulous book that every junior higher in Canada should read!
Date published: 2008-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Good. So good so good.
Date published: 2008-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Astounding, beautiful and profound. A must read for anyone over the age of 14! I can't believe there are not more reviews of this astounding, beautiful and utterly compelling book. How sad that it is labelled for 10-12 year old. I dare say it it is not for anyone under the age of 14. I am a middle aged , very well read person, and this book vaults to the top of my best read in the past two years. Moving, profound and unforgettable. These characters work their way into your heart and never leave. I also cried at the end and during other moving parts of he book. This book is for everyone. It is ,simply put, a masterpiece.
Date published: 2007-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unbelievable, wholesome, lovable... I have always been interested in the subject of the second world war which is what primarily motivated me to read this, then i saw that the story took place in Germany! during the second world war. So that idea was intriguing in itself, because when its about ww2 its usually about what the jews went through or about how horrible Hitler was or whatever, so that was the reason for reading this. The story doesn't exactly have a plot line, but thats fine, it doesn't need one. The characters, and their experiences, and their emotions are the entire story, all from the efficient point of view of Death. (cos seriously who had a better front row seat of ww2) Anybody from 7 yrs up can read this, it isn't heavy on violence, but that doens't mean there isnt tragedy. i could ramble here for hours about how uber awesome the book but anyway the bottom line is GO READ IT.
Date published: 2007-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most memorable book The Book Thief is the most memorable book I have read yet! It stayed with me for days, weeks even. It made me cry, it made me happy, it made me scared and worried with fear for the characters, If your looking for an all around happy book, look some place else because this book will make you cry hands down. Though don't get me wrong, at some parts you do feel happy, but let's face it, what book set in the time of war is a happy going book. Anyways this is one of, if not the, best books I have ever read and I recommend it to anyone who calls themselves a reader.
Date published: 2007-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Book Ever! It is the second World War, and Liesel Meminger is a foster child of a poor German family, just barely getting by with the scarce food and resourses they receive. You would think that this would be a story about war and pity. But this is not so. Life is not too bad in young Liesel's eyes-- not when she gets to witness first-hand the suffering of an emaciated Jewish fist fighther in her very basement. Liesel's family has secretly committed the most heinous crime possible in Germany under Hitler's rule. That is, they have stowed away a Jewish refugee in their own basement, providing sanctuary to the most despicable possible person in Hitler's eyes. While Liesel is only a young girl, she learns to cope with the hard times by strengthening her friendship with the Jewish outcast downstairs, and by stealing. Liesel steals books. Thievery brings her comfort, and reading helps her relax. She soon discovers the power of words to dictate life itself, and she turns our story into one of love, peace, family, and friendship amid the horrenous war. I love The Book Thief so much! It's one of those books that I'll want to read again and again. I usually don't reread books, but when I do, that's a sign of a real good book. I can't pinpoint any one reason why I enjoyed the book so much, but I think it's mostly the foreshadowing behind the plot, the sense of mystery, the pure emotions and meaning, the sheer realism and honesty, and just everything else in between. Although this story is set 60 years ago, I found that anyone in the world of 2007 can still find something to relate to. I can tell that Markus Zusak put a lot of work into The Book Thief, and that work has definitely paid off. I don't think I'll ever tire of rereading it, and by the end of the month, I'll probably have made all my friends read it at least once. The Book Thief is inspiring and brings with it the sense of happiness and hope, among other things. I would give this book 7 stars because 5 just is not enough! (Just a side-note: Please buy or borrow this book rather than stealing it. Although it's about a book thief, it does not condone the theft of books!)
Date published: 2007-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best book I have ever read No amount of elegant words can express the amazing qualities of this book, and therefore I can describe it only as being the best book I have ever read. Written with a unique and original style, from an even more original perspective, The Book Thief is a fresh piece of literature that, though classified for teens, will be equally enjoyed and appreciated by adults. The narrative is rich and profound as it traces the outlines of life and death, humanity, compassion, and the thirst for knowledge. The book leaves a resounding impact which is slowly built from the beginning before being released in a rush at the end, leaving readers breathless.
Date published: 2007-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Difficult to Put Down I really enjoyed reading this book. It paints an excellent picture of what the people went through in Nazi Germany. I found it interesting that it was narrated by Death. I think the book is great for both young and old alike. It is a story that all should read. I am actually going to read this to my students, who I'm sure will appreciate its vibrant characters, who the reader quickly cares about, and the storyline. EXCELLENT!!!
Date published: 2007-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Book Ever! It is the second World War, and Liesel Meminger is a foster child of a poor German family, just barely getting by with the scarce food and resourses they receive. You would think that this would be a story about war and pity. But this is not so. Life is not too bad in young Liesel's eyes-- not when she gets to witness first-hand the suffering of an emaciated Jewish fist fighther in her very basement. Liesel's family has secretly committed the most heinous crime possible in Germany under Hitler's rule. That is, they have stowed away a Jewish refugee in their own basement, providing sanctuary to the most despicable possible person in Hitler's eyes. While Liesel is only a young girl, she learns to cope with the hard times by strengthening her friendship with the Jewish outcast downstairs, and by stealing. Liesel steals books. Thievery brings her comfort, and reading helps her relax. She soon discovers the power of words to dictate life itself, and she turns our story into one of love, peace, family, and friendship amid the horrenous war. I love The Book Thief so much! It's one of those books that I'll want to read again and again. I usually don't reread books, but when I do, that's a sign of a real good book. I can't pinpoint any one reason why I enjoyed the book so much, but I think it's mostly the foreshadowing behind the plot, the sense of mystery, the pure emotions and meaning, the sheer realism and honesty, and just everything else in between. Although this story is set 60 years ago, I found that anyone in the world of 2007 can still find something to relate to. I can tell that Markus Zusak put a lot of work into The Book Thief, and that work has definitely paid off. I don't think I'll ever tire of rereading it, and by the end of the month, I'll probably have made all my friends read it at least once. The Book Thief is inspiring and brings with it the sense of happiness and hope, among other things. I would give this book 7 stars because 5 just is not enough! (Just a side-note: Please buy or borrow this book rather than stealing it. Although it's about a book thief, it does not condone the theft of books!)
Date published: 2007-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Book Ever! It is the second World War, and Liesel Meminger is a foster child of a poor German family, just barely getting by with the scarce food and resourses they receive. You would think that this would be a story about war and pity. But this is not so. Life is not too bad in young Liesel's eyes-- not when she gets to witness first-hand the suffering of an emaciated Jewish fist fighther in her very basement. Liesel's family has secretly committed the most heinous crime possible in Germany under Hitler's rule. That is, they have stowed away a Jewish refugee in their own basement, providing sanctuary to the most despicable possible person in Hitler's eyes. While Liesel is only a young girl, she learns to cope with the hard times by strengthening her friendship with the Jewish outcast downstairs, and by stealing. Liesel steals books. Thievery brings her comfort, and reading helps her relax. She soon discovers the power of words to dictate life itself, and she turns our story into one of love, peace, family, and friendship amid the horrenous war. I love The Book Thief so much! It's one of those books that I'll want to read again and again. I usually don't reread books, but when I do, that's a sign of a real good book. I can't pinpoint any one reason why I enjoyed the book so much, but I think it's mostly the foreshadowing behind the plot, the sense of mystery, the pure emotions and meaning, the sheer realism and honesty, and just everything else in between. Although this story is set 60 years ago, I found that anyone in the world of 2007 can still find something to relate to. I can tell that Markus Zusak put a lot of work into The Book Thief, and that work has definitely paid off. I don't think I'll ever tire of rereading it, and by the end of the month, I'll probably have made all my friends read it at least once. The Book Thief is inspiring and brings with it the sense of happiness and hope, among other things. I would give this book 7 stars because 5 just is not enough! (Just a side-note: Please buy or borrow this book rather than stealing it. Although it's about a book thief, it does not condone the theft of books!)
Date published: 2007-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is FILLED with emotion. It is incredible. It is about a girl who, at first cannot read, then, slowly learns how to weild words to her liking. She steals books from the mayor's wife, her foster father hides a Jew in his basement (remember, this is during Nazi Germany), and in the end, she is, literally, the only one left standing in the rubble. At the end of this book, I started to tear up on the inside. Throughout the ENTIRE book, you are moved through the "grim reaper's" rendition of "The Book Theif's" life. It captivates EVERYONE that starts to read the first paragraph of the book. I bought it because I needed a book to last me 3 weeks for my holliday, and I figured it would take me a long time to get through a five hundred page book. But it is exactly 7 days since I've had the book, and I have finished it. Currently, I have just passed it on to my mom who, every now and then has to stop and read a little bit of it to me because she loves it so much. (My mom is the kind of person who can't get past the first paragraph, and she's had it for about 10 minutes, and is on page 33.) Anyone who DOESN'T buy this book would be selling themselves short. Everyone deserves this book. This is the best book I have ever read.
Date published: 2006-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from **Here IS a Small Fact* THIS BOOK ROCKS! I LOVE THIS BOOK. It is my ultimate favourite! I even entered The JAB Contest with this book! It really makes you appreciate books.. And the hard times those who didnt agree with the World War went through! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!! Monika
Date published: 2006-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique approach to loss, love After one reading, "The Book Thief" has already gained a place on my bookshelf for life. The author creates memorable yet flawed characters, all of whom add to the overall narration. There are a number of powerful scenes throughout the novel, but the author stays away from the cliches that often appear in books set during wartime. "The Book Thief" deserves to become a classic.
Date published: 2006-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from absolutely great it was so good, i could not put it down. i would reccommed it to anyone who loves this type of stuff.
Date published: 2006-05-26

– More About This Product –

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 576 pages, 8.21 × 5.5 × 1.26 in

Published: October 15, 2013

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385754728

ISBN - 13: 9780385754729

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.

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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