Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


The Book Thief (2005)

by Markus Zusak

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
42,226207935 (4.36)4 / 2075
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.
  1. 649
    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. 445
    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. 332
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Booksloth, frsantos)
  4. 282
    Night by Elie Wiesel (Smellsbooks, Morteana)
  5. 269
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  6. 181
    The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (PghDragonMan, avidmom, rhshelver)
  7. 204
    The Messenger by Markus Zusak (whymaggiemay, rosylibrarian)
  8. 120
    Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman (kaipakartik)
  9. 101
    The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (whoot, booklove2)
  10. 90
    The Chosen by Chaim Potok (avidmom)
  11. 90
    Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (TessaSlingerland)
  12. 91
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Both taken place during WWII, but in different perspectives.
  13. 103
    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)
  14. 61
    The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Ciruelo, heidialice)
  15. 51
    The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (_eskarina)
    _eskarina: Similar setting (WWII), similar emphasis on the power of the books.
  16. 40
    Edelweiss Pirates: Operation Einstein by Mark A. Cooper (davidparsons, jacobwilliams007)
  17. 63
    Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume (Runa)
  18. 41
    The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (mrstreme)
  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
    The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust's Shadow by Krystyna Chiger (elwren75)

(see all 46 recommendations)

Europe (9)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

» See also 2075 mentions

English (1,954)  Dutch (31)  Spanish (28)  French (11)  German (9)  Catalan (8)  Portuguese (Brazil) (6)  Portuguese (5)  Swedish (4)  Italian (4)  Norwegian (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Danish (1)  Arabic (1)  Finnish (1)  Romanian (1)  Thingamabrarian (the ideal language) (1)  All languages (2,070)
Showing 1-5 of 1954 (next | show all)
Words are heavy. And so are tears. ( )
  edisarcastica | May 10, 2023 |
A very interesting book, that was very well written. A story of nazi Germany from a German perspective narrated by Death (yes, the grim reaper). Can’t say I’ve ever read anything like it before, but I’m glad I did. Excellent read. ( )
  MrMet | Apr 28, 2023 |
A story beautifully told, with heart-warming passages, odds and ends. Is there a more perfect narrator in war times than death himself? But of course this fact alone would have deserved some more explaining. The plot itself sometimes seems to have been shaped by someone holding a divining rod, encountering new input here and there, but the references back to the basic storyline duly occur so that the journey is not too erratic.
What I found rather annoying was the reader's idea to speak se Dschöamens wiss a Dschöamen eccent.I know how we can sound, and he is rather convincing at it, but I just don't understand why you would do that just because the protagonists happen to be Dschöamen.
  Kindlegohome | Apr 18, 2023 |
Saw the movie some years ago. This book has been on my shelf since a couple years ago and I decided to read it and compare it to how well the movie covered the subject matter. NO comparison. So many important items (for example, Max’s books with drawings) are not portrayed at all in the movie, nor is the relationship between Liesel and others fully developed. Of course, a 2 hour movie could not do so very well, with a much longer series being a much better presentation. With 2 hours or so, neither could the psychological perspective of things happening be done well.

The book is excellent. Over the years, I’ve seen most if not all of the newsreels of Hitler and the devastation of Germany during WWII, but never before felt the connection to the humanity of citizen suffering in Germany. Yes, Hitler was evil in every way, no debating that, and his armies deserved full destruction. But never did I feel like I could empathize with German citizens who often suffered from indiscriminate bombing (as well as England and other countries, no debate there). There was an element of the citizenry in Germany that did not agree with Hitler’s pursuit of the war – in addition, there were many attempts on Hitler’s life to try to change course.

I understand why this book is discussion material in schools. Relationships are presented well for discussion. The author’s method of presentation of events intrigues the reader, entices the reader to read further to find out what the Narrator is talking about with things to happen in the future. Although the Holocaust is always lurking in the background, there is no real mention of it. Treatment of the Jews is presented only in the context of how they are treated in the city where Liesel lives but without a lot of violence, mostly their starvation and beatings while marching through town.

I strongly suggest that if you have an interest in the book, read the book first and then see the movie. ( )
2 vote highlander6022 | Apr 17, 2023 |
I read this in a book group, remember enjoying the conversation and sharing my opinions, but don't recall much of the book itself. ( )
  mykl-s | Apr 12, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 1954 (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 (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Markus Zusakprimary authorall editionscalculated
Corduner, AllanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ernst, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Girod, Marie-FranceTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giughese, Gian M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lodewijk, AnnemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, TrudyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
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.
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC
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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
Haiku summary
An accordion
There was once a strange, small man
Liesel Meminger

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (4.36)
0.5 15
1 106
1.5 15
2 285
2.5 59
3 1125
3.5 302
4 3260
4.5 698
5 6379

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 188,510,559 books! | Top bar: Always visible