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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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The Book Thief (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Markus Zusak

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,831None50 (4.38)4 / 1662
Member:rata
Title:The Book Thief
Authors:Markus Zusak
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (2006), Edition: First, Hardcover, 560 pages
Collections:Read 2013
Rating:*****
Tags:Nazis, war, Poles, Jews, holocaust, death

Work details

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005)

book club (113) books (434) books about books (151) coming of age (175) death (742) family (149) fiction (1,966) friendship (216) Germany (1,098) historical (228) historical fiction (1,084) history (140) Holocaust (1,256) Jews (361) literature (96) Nazi (155) Nazi Germany (355) Nazis (201) novel (229) own (98) read (245) reading (146) teen (106) to-read (456) unread (105) war (327) WWII (1,813) YA (509) young adult (721) young adult fiction (141)
  1. 528
    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. 372
    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. 182
    I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (whymaggiemay, RosyLibrarian)
  6. 226
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  7. 150
    The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (PghDragonMan, avidmom, rhshelver)
  8. 100
    Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (TessaSlingerland)
  9. 80
    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
    The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (whoot, booklove2)
  13. 71
    Those who save us by Jenna Blum (loriephillips)
  14. 61
    The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Ciruelo, heidialice)
  15. 61
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Both taken place during WWII, but in different perspectives.
  16. 62
    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. 20
    The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust's Shadow by Krystyna Chiger (elwren75)
  18. 20
    Daniel Half-Human: and the Good Nazi by David Chotjewitz (fountainoverflows)
  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. 53
    Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume (Runa)

(see all 42 recommendations)

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English (1,280)  Dutch (22)  Spanish (16)  German (9)  French (8)  Portuguese (6)  Portuguese (Brazil) (5)  Catalan (5)  Swedish (4)  Norwegian (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Romanian (1)  Finnish (1)  Slovak (1)  Thingamabraian (the ideal language) (1)  All languages (1,366)
Showing 1-5 of 1280 (next | show all)
Worth reading, but I found Zusak's style of continual foreshadowing to be a distraction from the story. How many times did he need to tell me which characters were going to die before they actually did? ( )
  ylferif | Apr 10, 2014 |
Some historical fiction! ( )
  xwgrace | Apr 9, 2014 |
Set in Nazi Germany during a time of death and disruption "The Book Thief" author 's intense writing skills reveals the importance of "books that fed the soul." I remember your interest in the Holocaust when you read "Number the Stars" and now that your interest in reading has peaked what better way to began than combining the two.
  ac19193 | Apr 8, 2014 |
Book 11
  spotknewt | Apr 8, 2014 |
different take on the subject--took a while for me to get drawn in, but ultimately found it deeply moving and very engrossing.
  mochap | Apr 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 1280 (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.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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