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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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The Book Thief (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Markus Zusak (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
32,520184941 (4.37)4 / 1939
Member:Shelly67
Title:The Book Thief
Authors:Markus Zusak (Author)
Info:Alfred A. Knopf (2007), Edition: Reprint, 608 pages
Collections:To read
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2007)

  1. 619
    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. 435
    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. 341
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Booksloth, frsantos)
  4. 282
    Night by Elie Wiesel (Smellsbooks, Morteana)
  5. 268
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  6. 181
    The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (PghDragonMan, avidmom, rhshelver)
  7. 193
    I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (whymaggiemay, rosylibrarian)
  8. 100
    Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (TessaSlingerland)
  9. 100
    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. 81
    The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (whoot, booklove2)
  13. 81
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Both taken place during WWII, but in different perspectives.
  14. 93
    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)
  15. 61
    The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Ciruelo, heidialice)
  16. 40
    Edelweiss Pirates: Operation Einstein by Mark A. Cooper (davidparsons, jacobwilliams007)
  17. 41
    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. 20
    The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust's Shadow by Krystyna Chiger (elwren75)
  20. 20
    The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (_eskarina)
    _eskarina: Similar setting (WWII), similar emphasis on the power of the books.

(see all 47 recommendations)

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English (1,741)  Dutch (31)  Spanish (20)  French (11)  German (9)  Catalan (7)  Portuguese (6)  Portuguese (Brazil) (5)  Swedish (4)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Danish (1)  Romanian (1)  Finnish (1)  Slovak (1)  Thingamabrarian (the ideal language) (1)  All languages (1,847)
Showing 1-5 of 1741 (next | show all)
This novel about a young girl in Nazi Germany is billed as young adult fiction, but it was a great read for this old adult. The book is becoming a classic, and deserves its glowing reputation. The characters (even Death!) are believable and (mostly) endearing. The plotting keeps the story moving right along, as does the reader's desire to know how it all turns out. There are some things that reminded me that it was a young adult novel -- among them, a habit of telling the reader things that the characters have already made clear. Overall, however, it's an excellent book. ( )
  annbury | May 8, 2019 |
Easily the best Young Adult book that I have ever read. An amazing story that remains interesting and emotional throughout the entirety of the tale. A great yarn and one that is not easily forgotten. Top-notch! ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
A view of the other side of Nazi Germany, the germans who weren't Nazis but trapped in and trying to survive. Narrated by Death who tells the story of a young girl growing up in a small town outside Munich. Forced an orphan because of her mother's marxist views, then fostered to parents who lived in the heart of Nazis who they despised. Although the story circles around young Liesel it introduces you to many characters young and old who all in their own way are trying to deal with the nazis around them and survive a war that none of them want. One of Liesel's best friends is Max a Jew hidden their basement. Between Max and her foster father Hans she learns to about words and the power they bring. At one point she theorizes that if there were no words then would be no Nazis because it is only through the power of words that they were able to brainwash a country. It really is a beautiful story that I hated to end even though a lot of it was very ugly. ( )
  rayski | May 4, 2019 |
This book is for people who are interested in historical fiction. The book provides and interesting perspective on how to tell the story of the main character through the eyes of another character. It's great to see the second world war with the opinions of a child that is still new in Germany and living in an unfamiliar world that she may not be able to comprehend. ( )
  gomez23 | May 3, 2019 |
“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

Mark Zusak certainly got the words right in The Book Thief. The personification and metaphors he uses do so much to really show the reader the story instead of just telling it. However, his exquisite words were unable to makeup for the essential lack of plot in the book. Yes, I realize the theme of the ability of humans to overcome in the face of tragedy is the light of this book. For me, though, that’s all it was - a universal theme told with pretty words.

As far as a piece of written work goes, the book surpasses many other contenders. But without any real action going on, I found the storyline to be quite dull. Even though there are instances of happenings in the story, I felt like nothing really happened in the book. So, other than beautiful words to illuminate an important yet tragic part of history, the story itself was rather flat and dull.
( )
  nframke | Apr 30, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 1741 (next | show all)
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.
 
The book's length, subject matter and approach might give early teen readers pause, but those who can get beyond the rather confusing first pages will find an absorbing and searing narrative.
 
"The Book Thief" attempts and achieves great final moments of tear-jerking sentiment. And Liesel is a fine heroine, a memorably strong and dauntless girl. But for every startlingly rebellious episode... there are moments that are slack.
 
Writing fiction about the Holocaust is a risky endeavor. Most children learn about it in history class, or through nonfiction narratives like Eli Wiesel's "Night." Zusak has done a useful thing by hanging the story on the experience of a German civilian, not a camp survivor, and humanizing the choices that ordinary people had to make in the face of the Führer. It's unlikely young readers will forget what this atrocity looked like through the eyes of Death.
 
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.
added by stephmo | editUSA Today, Carol Memmott (Mar 20, 2006)
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zusak, Markusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corduner, AllanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ernst, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giughese, Gian M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lodewijk, AnnemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, TrudyIllustratorsecondary 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. Then the humans. That's how I see things. Or at least how I try.
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.
The reply floated from his mouth, then moulded itself like a stain to the ceiling.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Dutch 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.
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:42 -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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 26 descriptions

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