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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
24,584148144 (4.38)4 / 1747
  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. 311
    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (Booksloth, frsantos)
  4. 241
    Night by Elie Wiesel (Smellsbooks)
  5. 247
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  6. 160
    The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (PghDragonMan, avidmom, rhshelver)
  7. 183
    I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (whymaggiemay, rosylibrarian)
  8. 100
    Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (TessaSlingerland)
  9. 90
    Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman (kaipakartik)
  10. 90
    The Chosen by Chaim Potok (avidmom)
  11. 91
    Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (bethielouwho)
  12. 71
    Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum (loriephillips)
  13. 71
    The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (whoot, booklove2)
  14. 71
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Both taken place during WWII, but in different perspectives.
  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. 31
    The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (mrstreme)
  18. 20
    Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (tiltheworldends)
    tiltheworldends: Nonfiction about BDM that Liesel was required to attend and Hitler Youth group that Rudy belonged to.
  19. 42
    Jacob the Liar by Jurek Becker (the_awesome_opossum)
  20. 20
    The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust's Shadow by Krystyna Chiger (elwren75)

(see all 43 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1384 (next | show all)
Markus Zusak's _The Book Thief_ remains among the most recommended Young Adult novels following its relatively recent adaptation as a motion picture. Narrated by Death, the book is a coming-of-age story of Liesal Meminger in Nazi Germany during WWII. The book focuses on her relationships with her foster parents (particularly Papa), her best friend Rudy Steiner, Max (a Jewish man temporarily sheltered in her foster parents' basement, the mayor's wife from whom Liesal stole books, and other characters on her street.

Zusak does a good job exploring the layers of relationships that form and break during troubled times and utilizes Death to show aspects of life that a pre-teen girl would not be able to witness first hand. The concept of death and destruction overshadow the plot, though it does not take away from the personal triumphs of our heroine. The importance of knowledge, a love of reading, and the value of books become a focal point of the novel with Leisal using books to remember key events in her life.

_The Book Thief_ is a poignant story of love and loss in the times of war and, I predict, will become a modern classic. ( )
  ShieldmaidenOfRohan | Jan 24, 2015 |
My daughter (13 years old) recommended I read this book, which she read over a year ago. I liked it well enough, it keeps your interest, the characters are individualized, and it reads very quickly. Overall, it is an ok introduction to Nazi Germany for 10-12 year old kids without it going into too much history or too much detail about what went on in the death camps, though it does contain some disturbing events. This would contrast well with "Diary of Anne Frank" (a real diary of a real girl vs. a fictional story). The narration, for me anyway, got a little irritating. Death is the narrator and while, at first, this is an interesting novelty, after a while, it became cloying and irritating. ( )
  Marse | Jan 22, 2015 |
This was a great read. I really did not want to put it down to do all the housework, etc. I just wanted to gobble up the words on the pages. I truly loved that the narrator is Death. I read this after seeing the movie, have to say, I much prefer the book. Descriptive, simply elegant writing style. I have marked passages, phrases and single words in my copy, I don't do this often, only in books that strike a chord in me, this one managed to do several times over. Impressive.
( )
  bb007rn | Jan 19, 2015 |
What a wonderful book! I wanted to read it as it had good reviews. I was not disappointed. It tells a great story filled with joy and sadness and kept me interested until the end. ( )
  Nataliec7 | Jan 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 1384 (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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People/Characters
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Important events
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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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Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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 18 descriptions

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