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

by Markus Zusak

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
32,259183942 (4.37)4 / 1934
Member:cshawzye
Title:The Book Thief
Authors:Markus Zusak
Info:Alfred A. Knopf (2007), Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
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. 425
    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. 258
    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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Showing 1-5 of 1733 (next | show all)
Death narrates the story of an orphan living in a small village outside Munich with her adopted parents during World War II. While he goes about his job (it's a busy period of him), Death is fascinated with the strange behavior of people living under Hitler's regime. When Liesel, the orphan, steals her first book, she does not know how to read it. She learns. Then more books are stolen, but for intriguing reasons. The characters are well drawn; the story draws you in (well, Death draws you in--he is constantly foreshadowing looming catastrophes, big and small). It's a satisfying read, ending, as expected, in tragedy, but with a sliver of hope. I was left in tears, and that happens almost never! The author, btw, is Australian. ( )
  deckla | Mar 25, 2019 |
The Book Thief has taken its place alongside other great works dubbed as 'Holocaust literature.' This book reaches all audiences of all ages and presents a story from a unique perspective: Death. Death tells the story of little girl named Liesel living in war torn Germany and a foster child passing as a German girl. This story is unique but historically accurate in its telling and a book that all readers should take time to explore. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Mar 21, 2019 |
Perhaps I have ww2 fiction fatigue or perhaps for some other reason I was never deeply engaged. Young Liesel is brought to Molching (outside of Munich, not far from Dachau) to live with a couple as her father is gone and her mother is ill. On the trip her brother dies and when he is buried in a strange town in a snowy cemetery, Liesel picks up a book, The Gravedigger's Handbook. (One thing I've wondered and never investigated is if any of these titles are real.) She can't read but she treasures the book and the attention of Death, the narrator is drawn to her. (This choice of narrator did and didn't work --I've read too much Terry Pratchett, frankly). At any rate I wasn't tempted to set the novel aside and here and there I was drawn in more -- Liesel's relationship with the mayor's wife and her library and with Rudy, her best friend, especially. Lots here to like or even love. Perhaps it wasn't the right time for me to read this novel, it happens, so pay no attention to this rather lukewarm response. ***1/2 ( )
  sibyx | Mar 19, 2019 |
I try to always take book recommendations to heart. I almost always add them immediately to my ‘to read’ list very earnestly so I don’t forget them. But I have to be honest, they often languish there longer than books I get interested in from other sources. ‘The Book Thief’, by Markus Zusak was recommended to me, as a school librarian, by teachers, parents, students, well- everybody. It was recommended to me so many times, I had no doubt it must be special. For some reason, in the least logical part of my brain, popularity can count against a book- another flaw in trying to improve. While appropriate for young audiences and focusing on a young girl as the central character, this is one of those books with such great characters, not dumbing down plot or emotion as an insult to its young readers. The story was cinematic, rich and beautiful. Tough subjects like the rise of the Nazis in Germany, poverty and coming of age are treated with insight into the point of view of a child living through them. Parents might want to know it mentions war and death, adult use of alcohol and tobacco is a background mention. ( )
  pdill8 | Mar 12, 2019 |
Although I hardly read fiction. This book was handsomely written. It captured me. The details, discritpion of characters, were all engaging. It had some amusing scenes, anda few light-hearted momets. Overall I would recommened this book. I am not easily impressed with fiction worls because it does not swoon me but this book kept me hooked until the bitter end. ( )
  StarrStar | Feb 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 1733 (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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Canonical title
Original title
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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
Publisher's editors
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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