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The book thief by Markus Zusak

The book thief (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Markus Zusak

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
28,094171434 (4.37)4 / 1852
Title:The book thief
Authors:Markus Zusak
Info:New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
Collections:Your library
Tags:Holocaust, Germany, 2010, Judaism

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 (1,610)  Dutch (29)  Spanish (19)  French (9)  German (9)  Portuguese (6)  English (5)  Catalan (5)  Swedish (4)  Norwegian (3)  Italian (3)  English (2)  Danish (1)  Romanian (1)  Finnish (1)  English (1)  Slovak (1)  English (1,709)
Showing 1-5 of 1610 (next | show all)
This might be my favorite book ever. I was constantly finding a couple spare minutes, so I could get through a few more pages. I thought that the perspective of the narrator was fascinating and it was not something I had seen done before (I won't say who the narrator is as it would be a minor spoiler). In my opinion the plot line wasn't very strong until the end, but the characters were all interesting and fun to read about. They were all well-developed and the kind of characters that feel as if they're standing next to you while you read. I thought the main character, Liesel Meminger, was especially interesting. From the beginning I was invested in her and wanted to see her journey. She has a love of words and is motivated to find books to read. I also thought her friend, Rudy, added to the story. He was fun-loving and added a lot of humor to the book.

Overall I thought this book was amazing. I would recommend it to everyone. It has made me more interested in reading about this time period. However, since it is set during World War II there is a lot of tragedy and I would recommend having a box of tissues on hand. ( )
  RickyHaas | Nov 28, 2016 |
I really enjoyed the audio version of this book. Death comes across as more of a character to me this way as opposed to reading the book. Still a great book and a very moving story. I appreciate it when a narrator warns you when bad things are about to happen. -Audio ( )
  aurorapaigem | Nov 23, 2016 |
It was so sad I can't believe that ending. Uhhh... SO sad. I some times wish you could undo the past. ( )
  Brinlie.Jill.Searle | Nov 22, 2016 |
I was very resistant to this at first but was won over by the narrative voice and wonderful characters. A very compelling YA read. A bit Gunther Grass-lite but that's ok.

And yes, I cried at the end. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
so good! I'm an emotional mess right now. Review coming soon.

Updated: Review from my blog _ https://www.loryreadsbooks.blogspot.com

The book is the story of Liesel, a German girl left to foster parents a few years before the outbreak of world
war II. On the way to her new home her younger brother dies, after the funeral, Liesel steals The Gravediggers Handbook, even though she cant read. This is the first of many thefts that will occur throughout the story and it is this act that propels her to try and learn how to read. Soon her obsession with books grows as the war begins, food is scarce, some books are being burned while others are being stolen. And her foster father, Hans, hides a Jew in the basement.

This book was so incredibly beautiful. I have always loved history and one of my favorite books is the Diary of Anne Frank. This book reminded me of that one but gave me another perspective to the war. And what a wonderful story it was. The language was so captivating. I think my favorite element in this book was Death as the narrator. The way he told Liesel's story was unique. I found myself drawn to this character. It made me think of death in a different way. His voice was so powerful yet sad. In fact, one of my favorite quotes from the book is this one:

“I am haunted by humans.”

I found it so curious and ironic that Death would be haunted by humans when we are the ones who are afraid of death and who always feel haunted by it. As the novel progressed I really found myself appreciating Death's view on humans. The author really did a wonderful job in transforming death into something else. A thoughtful almost human like person. I love how he mentions that he looks human not like the figure dressed in black holding a scythe that we always imagine.

The reason why this novel was so painful was the love I felt for the characters, I got so used to them, That over time they became part of me and when it was time to part with them, it was hard. While Liesel was the protagonist of this novel and it was her story being told, It wasn't her that I was worried about or who I loved the most. I have three top characters that I loved and cared deeply for by the end of the novel and those were sweet and caring Hans, wild and troublesome Rudy and of course Max, the Jew who imagined fighting Hitler and winning. I grew so fond of those characters. Its safe to say I was a mess by the end of the book. But it was worth it. The knowledge and lessons I've learned from this book will stay with me for a long time. And for that I'm grateful, because in the end this book accomplished what all books should. It inspired me and it showed me that despite all the evil in the world there are still some people who put their lives on the line to do what is right.

Truly a powerful book and one that I highly recommend. ( )
  miss_booklion | Nov 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 1610 (next | show all)
Amazing the way something so beautiful can be written about such a dark period. Involving and completely addictive.
added by johnsmithsen | editlowongan kerja swasta (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.
added by johnsmithsen | editlowongan kerja bank (Jan 28, 2007)
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.
added by johnsmithsen | editlowongan kerja cpns (Jan 6, 2007)
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.
added by johnsmithsen | editlowongan kerja bumn (Dec 31, 2006)
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.
added by johnsmithsen | editlowongan kerja 2017 (May 14, 2006)

» 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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Original title
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Important events
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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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