The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Cover of "The Book Thief"

Cover of The Book Thief courtesy of

Liesel stole her first book before she could even read, this stolen book was the book she learned to read with. Books and reading were what bonded her to her foster family, her neighbors, and the Jew that they were hiding in their basement and what helped them all to survive.
Zusak, Markus. The Book ThiefAlfred A. Knopf. 2005. 552 pages. paperback. $11.99, ISBN 978-0-375-84220-7
A very compassionate narrator, Death, weaves together this moving story about Liesel Meminger, a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany. Liesel steals her first book at the funeral of her younger brother. This is where the story and Liesel’s love affair with books begins. Hans Huberman, her foster father, teaches her to read and this is what strengthened their relationship. These reading lessons are also what helped her get through her nightmare filled nights. This love of books and reading also  helped forge a strong bond with Max, the Jew they are hiding in their basement. When all the neighbors gathered in a basement to protect them from the bombings, it was her reading that helped keep everyone calm. The Book Thief is a story of love, courage, friendship, loss and survival. Who knew one Grave Diggers Manual could change so many lives.I highly recommend this book for all readers aged 12 and up. This book reminded me of an adult historical fiction, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Both books feature a town affected by the Nazi’s but who are not directly involved in the fight and both show heroism, compassion for others, and the power of books. A story of courage, love, friendship, and hope, The Book Thief is a great read if you enjoy historical fiction.Link to WorldCat .org listing 

Link to listing

Available in:



Audio CD

Kindle Edition

Book Trailer:

Courtesy of
Markus Zusak Website
Facebook Account
Twitter Account
Check out this link for a podcast of an interview with Markus Zusak:
The Book of Life Gets Caught Reading, May 2006


2007 Michael L. Printz Honor for Excellence in Young Adult Literature
2007 Notable Book for a Global Society award winner
2007 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
2007 Sydney Taylor
2006 Kathleen Mitchell Award
2006 Quill Book Award in the Young Adult Literature category

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