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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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The Book Thief (2005)

by Markus Zusak, Trudy White (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
24,018144445 (4.38)4 / 1721
Recently added byabucher03, jillj2005, u2guru, SusanLong, private library, katelhardman, SonjaYoerg, luke.moy.58, aoston
  1. 559
    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (alalba, PghDragonMan, Anonymous user)
    PghDragonMan: Both side of hiding during the Holocaust
    Anonymous user: Both are about Holocaust. The Book Thief is from German girl's perspective whereas The Diary of a Young Girl is from a Jewish girl's perspective.
  2. 402
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (paulkid, Anonymous user)
    paulkid: There are many similarities between these books. For example, a strong father-daughter relationship, where the father teaches by example by taking the moral high ground in protecting a persecuted minority - also kids that break down the barriers between secluded and socially awkward neighbors through books and sundry shenanigans.… (more)
  3. 301
    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (Booksloth, frsantos)
  4. 231
    Night by Elie Wiesel (Smellsbooks)
  5. 236
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  6. 160
    The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (PghDragonMan, avidmom, rhshelver)
  7. 182
    I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (whymaggiemay, RosyLibrarian)
  8. 100
    Everything is illuminated : a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer (TessaSlingerland)
  9. 90
    The Chosen by Chaim Potok (avidmom)
  10. 80
    Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman (kaipakartik)
  11. 91
    Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (bethielouwho)
  12. 71
    Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum (loriephillips)
  13. 71
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Both taken place during WWII, but in different perspectives.
  14. 71
    The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (whoot, booklove2)
  15. 61
    The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Ciruelo, heidialice)
  16. 63
    The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak may linked with The Reader by Bernhard Schlink using the themes of reading, Nazi Germany and death. You could also pair it with the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman. Atonement by Ian McEwan could work as well because of the young protagonists, war, and reading.… (more)
  17. 74
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (BookGirlVL)
    BookGirlVL: The story is told from the point of view of a precocious eleven year old with a passion for poisons and death. Her favourite places to think are in the cemetery and in the old chemistry lab in the country house, she shares with her annoying sisters and preoccupied father. The witty, lively and whimsical narrative voice immediately reminded me of Zusak's "The Book Thief".… (more)
  18. 20
    The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust's Shadow by Krystyna Chiger (elwren75)
  19. 20
    City of Thieves by David Benioff (avalon_today)
    avalon_today: Kolya reminds me of Rudy, a bit older but none wiser, with his self-assurance and confidence, ok maybe he has lost some of his sweetness, but I still see the humor and zest for life.
  20. 20
    Daniel Half-Human: and the Good Nazi by David Chotjewitz (fountainoverflows)

(see all 43 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1348 (next | show all)
This book will make you cry. The author, Markus Zusak has an incredible voice. I couldn't put it down! ( )
  Nancy_Golinski | Sep 27, 2014 |
This novel is a beautifully written account of WWII as experienced in a small town in Germany by ordinary citizens. Markus Zusak has a unique, lyrical style that captures emotions in the people, in the sky, in the physical environment surrounding these Germans, who are caught in a war with a leader and daily struggles that they can not comprehend. Zusak's metaphors are unusual and somehow very beautiful.

An example: "In Liesel's mind, the moon was sewn into the sky that night. Clouds were stitched around it."

Death, the narrator, is a hardworking spirit with the compassion to stop and view the humans who are faced with daily choices that determine their health and survival. His focus is on Liesel, a child being fostered by a poor couple in a town outside Munich after her mother gives up trying to care for her. Liesel becomes obsessed with books, stealing them, reading them and ultimately writing one that Death cherishes and uses to tell her story. The story intersects with the Holocaust but is not overwhelmed by it. The descriptions of relationships between the people of this small town are perfect in their understanding of what contributes to the essence of being human. I don't have the writing skills to describe how beautiful this book is but I will cherish the time I spent reading it. ( )
  krazy4katz | Sep 26, 2014 |
This was a good read, not earth-shattering, but enjoyable. It might make my re-read shelf at some point, but I am hesitant to give it five stars. If you enjoy historical fiction set during WWII with an interesting twist, I highly recommend. I'm disappointed with the lack of follow up on Max though. ( )
  autumnturner76 | Sep 22, 2014 |
Very good book! I really detested Rosa Hubermann in the beginning but changed my opinion as the story developed and you saw a side of her that she didn't reveal to Liesel and definitely not to her neighbors. The Hubermanns showed a humanity just in taking in Liesel as her you learn that her parents or at least her father had been Communists. In sheltering Max they take a risk that very few in Nazi Germany would have been willing to take, promise or no promise. The author makes the characters come alive for the reader. Worth the read ( )
  lisa.schureman | Sep 20, 2014 |
Death is always busy- he has been since the dawn of humankind. But in the year 1939, a world war is on the edge of the horizon, and Death is going to get a lot busier. But throughout this all, he takes a special notice in Liesel Meminger, a nine year old dropped virtually orphaned and adopted by a couple living right in the middle of Nazi Germany. Liesel lives a typical life of a German child, until the night when a half-dead Jew staggers into the kitchen for the Hubermanns’ to hide. Liesel is disgusted at first, until she realizes that this Jew is a person, a fistfighter, a survivor, an orphan- and that he has a way with words, just like her. Together, their stories are woven together with one character appearing in both stories- Adolf Hitler, the very first word shaker.
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, is a historical fiction young adult read that is worth every single page of the book. Divided into ten sections, one for each of Liesel’s stolen books, Zusak tells the enthralling tale of a girl living in a realistic war-torn Germany but is yet an extremely relatable and likeable character who isn’t afraid to be a child, even as she lies like a con man to protect an innocent man. A must read, regardless of one’s age or gender. A brilliant work, moving, and sad. ( )
  degrbr14 | Sep 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 1348 (next | show all)
This over-praised, overlong novel is in trouble before it starts. The acknowledgments open with a tribute to someone “who is as warm as she is knowledgeable” and continue in the same saccharine manner.
 
Unsettling, thought-provoking, life-affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told. It is an important piece of work, but also a wonderful page-turner. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
 
This is a moving work which will make many eyes brim. Zusak shows us how small defiances and unexpectedly courageous acts remind us of our humanity. It isn't only Death who is touched. Liesel steals our hearts too.
 
The Australian writer Markus Zusak's brilliant and hugely ambitious new young-adult novel is startling in many ways, but the first thing many teenagers will notice is its length: 552 pages! It's one thing to write a long book about, say, a boy who happens across a dragon's egg; it's quite another to write a long, achingly sad, intricately structured book about Nazi Germany narrated by Death itself.
 
This is never an easy read, never a glide. But, in Zusak's ability to imagine and execute, he has achieved a very personal vision that grabs the reader and does not let go.
 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zusak, Markusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, TrudyIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Corduner, AllanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lodewijk, AnnemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Elisabeth and Helmut Zusak,
with love and admiration
First words
First the colors.
Quotations
Five hundred souls, I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases; or I'd throw them over my shoulder. It was only the children I carried in my arms. For some reason, dying men always ask questions they know the answer to. Perhaps it's so they can die being right.
In Liesel's mind, the moon was sewn into the sky that night. Clouds were stitched around it.
When the train pulled into the Bahnhof in Munich, the passengers slid out as if from a torn package.
A bathrobe answered the door. Inside it, a woman with startled eyes, hair like fluff and the posture of defeat stood in front of her.
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Book description
Unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul ... With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read ... Sharing her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids ... Plus, sharing with the Jewish a man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau

(Charles Duff description below)
This terrifically engaging book takes place during World War II in Nazi Germany.  An angel of sorts who collects souls once they die, narrates this story in which the angel talks about the book thief herself, young Liesel Meminger.  After losing her brother on the train to their foster home, Liesel comes across a book dropped by one of the grave diggers, The Grave Diggers Handbook.  She becomes immersed in books from there on out, but has to steal to get them because they are banned.  This is a great independent reading book for those in high school.  It has many direct elements associated with the Holocaust and Nazi Germany.  Here is a link to the authors wonderfully interactive website: http://www.randomhouse.com/features/m...
Haiku summary
Words become life to
girl in Nazi Germany -
Narrated by Death.
(elbakerone)
An accordion

There was once a strange, small man

Liesel Meminger

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375842209, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:44 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors. Includes readers' guide.… (more)

» see all 15 descriptions

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