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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
24,421147145 (4.38)4 / 1737
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)

Recently added byhubblegal, katdog3, private library, Webb-Prosser, PlayerX, FarihaImami, singedelespace, angelista
  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)
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    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (Booksloth, frsantos)
  4. 241
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  5. 247
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  6. 160
    The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (PghDragonMan, avidmom, rhshelver)
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  8. 100
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  9. 90
    The Chosen by Chaim Potok (avidmom)
  10. 90
    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
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Both taken place during WWII, but in different perspectives.
  14. 71
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  15. 61
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  16. 63
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    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
    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.
  18. 31
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  19. 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.
  20. 20
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(see all 43 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1374 (next | show all)
This teen historical fiction novel also enchants many adult readers. Set in the time of Nazi Germany, Death, a genial fellow, is the narrator. Liesel Meminger begins stealing books even before she learns to read. Liesel’s foster father teaches her to read to help overcome her nightmares. As Liesel continues to collect books, she also collects friends whose stories intertwine beautiful together. We mentioned it in our discussion of books about books.
  ktoonen | Dec 13, 2014 |
What a sad, strange story. It's one of the most original views of the Holocaust/WWII that I've ever read. Quite simply beautiful.
Read it you saukerl! ( )
  benuathanasia | Dec 11, 2014 |
The old truism works here, the book is better than the movie. Having Death as the narrator was distracting. But otherwise an engaging book. ( )
  charlie68 | Dec 8, 2014 |
Liesel Meminger’s life changes when she steals her first book at her brother’s funeral. As she grows up, comes to love life with her foster family on Himmel street, in Molching, Germany during World War II. Liesel continues to steal books as she struggles to learn how to read, befriends Max, the Jew who her foster parents are hiding in their basement, and falls in love with the boy next door. A book saves Liesel’s life, but it cannot save her loved ones from Death, who is coming to Himmel street. Zusak’s novel is much more than a heartbreaking story about coming-of-age in Nazi Germany; it is also an original and life-changing ode to the power of words to create and to destroy. Foreshadowing is used creatively to create an episodic story narrated by the personified character of Death. An intricate and well-paced new adult novel that has a wide appeal beyond history buffs. Highly recommended. Ages 13 & Up. ( )
  alovett | Dec 2, 2014 |
When nine-year-old Liesel plucks a book out of the snow following her brother's burial, she is unaware that it is merely the first of a number of books she would "steal" over the course of the next few years. At the outset of WWII she is deposited unceremoniously into the home of strangers Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Upon attending school, Liesel is informed that she is woefully behind in reading skills with respect to her peers and, to her embarrassment, she is sent to practice with the kindergartners. Determined to catch up, she enlists Hans' help, and together they spend the wee hours of the mornings slowly working their way through that first stolen book, The Grave Digger's Handbook.

The Book Thief is sweet and tragic. I initially hesitated to pick it up due to the serious subject matter, but Markus Zusak does a charming job managing to humanize the stark, cold face of Germany during WWII. It is a quick, heartbreaking read, but the hazy ending made this reader's analytical brain hurt. ( )
  ryner | Dec 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 1374 (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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 18 descriptions

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