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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Markus Zusak

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,928170435 (4.37)4 / 1849
Title:The Book Thief
Authors:Markus Zusak
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (2006), Edition: First, Hardcover, 560 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Novels/Novellas, Children's/YA Literature

Work details

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005)

  1. 599
    Anne Frank: 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. 262
    Night by Elie Wiesel (Smellsbooks, Morteana)
  5. 170
    The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (PghDragonMan, avidmom, rhshelver)
  6. 258
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  7. 193
    I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (whymaggiemay, rosylibrarian)
  8. 100
    Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman (kaipakartik)
  9. 100
    Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (TessaSlingerland)
  10. 90
    The Chosen by Chaim Potok (avidmom)
  11. 91
    Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (bethielouwho)
  12. 91
    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. 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)
  16. 61
    The History of Love: A Novel by Nicole Krauss (Ciruelo, heidialice)
  17. 40
    Edelweiss Pirates, Operation Einstein by Mark A. Cooper (davidparsons, jacobwilliams007)
  18. 41
    The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (mrstreme)
  19. 20
    The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust's Shadow by Krystyna Chiger (elwren75)
  20. 53
    Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume (Runa)

(see all 48 recommendations)


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English (1,600)  Dutch (29)  Spanish (19)  French (9)  German (9)  Portuguese (6)  Portuguese (Brazil) (5)  Catalan (5)  Swedish (4)  Norwegian (3)  Italian (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Danish (1)  Romanian (1)  Finnish (1)  Thingamabrarian (the ideal language) (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (1,699)
Showing 1-5 of 1600 (next | show all)
{4.9 stars, only because I was little put off by the narrative style at first}

Dear Markus Zusak-I love you and I loathe you. I don't even know how I'm going to handle the movie. ;.;

Dear Liesel, I wish there were words I could give you to hold you through your next years after Himmel Street. I wish I could hold you and be your book thieving side-kick. I wish you could see that not all of the world is loss and pain.

There are so many things that I want to say to all of you: Hans, Rosa, Max, and dear Rudy. I just cannot find the words, as all of you did. Even Death. I wish you didn't have to bear and witness so much. Even you suffer. All humans have hearts, and sometimes the worst of circumstances brushes the dust off of others that were hidden, or hardens others, keeping them on the shelf. This book did both, in a different way. I smiled and laughed, and you broke my heart and handed it to me, never patching it up---and sometimes that's OK. It lets us know we are human--in my opinion--unlike the Furher. We have hearts that can be broken, even by deaths of these fictional characters, and even if it isn't this book, we can always mend it again with another. Mend it with words like Leisel. This book is certainly a downer, but it's also a thinking book, it's a changing your perspective, carpe diem book. I would say that none of you deserved what happened, but than we are taking reality for granted. This actually happened to families. Some survived, many didn't. Zusak, you snatched up so many lives, you and Death, and while by the end, my heart sagged with sorrow and my eyes hurt with unshed tears, I understand you had to do it. Though through my tears now I cannot find a logical reason, there has to be one.

By the last 20 pgs read at 6:30 am, I cannot control the weeping, and an hour later I still can't. I keep telling myself, they're not real, they're not real, but for a week, I ate pea soup with Liesel, Hans, Rosa, and eventually Max. They became my temporary family where to be honest, I always feel a little emptiness. I heard Hans accordion and felt the mud on my face as I tossed Liesel the football. I even felt the whip. It hurt so bad, and you might think I'm silly, that it's just a book. It's not, at least to me. Words are my home, and for them to crush me and bury me under roses with the fictional family I just lost that I had placed there--many books have stirred my feelings, such as Jane Eyre. Many books have made me feel out of reality, feel connection, feel emotions, for days and weeks--but never ever like The Book Thief. ( )
  ShyPageSniffer | Oct 20, 2016 |
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.
  Jennifer LeGault | Oct 17, 2016 |
I'm writing this in tears, and I think that's all you need to know. ( )
  bastardreading | Oct 12, 2016 |
This was a really good book. The kind where the characters stay with you long after you've finished their stories. I loved the creativity of it, from the atypical perspective on WWII, to the unusual narration, and especially Max's sketchbooks and stories--books within a book. Like Kurt Vonnegut's works, it's unfair that this should be pigeonholed as teen literature. It's for everyone. ( )
  trwm | Oct 6, 2016 |
  Crissy8686 | Oct 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 1600 (next | show all)
Amazing the way something so beautiful can be written about such a dark period. Involving and completely addictive.
added by claudialima | editPortugal (Mar 30, 2012)
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.
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 (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zusak, Markusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, TrudyIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Corduner, AllanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ernst, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giughese, Gian M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lodewijk, AnnemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Has as a teacher's guide

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Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
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.
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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.
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 18 descriptions

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