Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Tuesday May 19, 2015 at 8:45 am |

thebooktheif-mzPublisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Published: September 18, 2007
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 550
Form: Paperback
Series: Stand Alone
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter
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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 Meminger’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.

My Thoughts

This book kind of broke my heart a little.  I liked the idea of death as a narrator.  I’ve noticed people complaining about that aspect of the book and saying how cliche it is.  Personally, I can’t ever recall reading a book with death as the narrator, so I cannot agree with that sentiment.  I liked that death wasn’t very typical either.  Instead a cynical and hardened being, death was presented as an exhausted and weary soul who is utterly fascinated, yet confounded by the human condition.

Eleven year old Liesal Meminger is pretty much taken from everything and everyone she’s ever known and placed with the Hubermanns.  Here she quickly bonds with her new foster father Hans and he teaches her to read.  In the ensuing years, Liesal develops relationships with her new family, neighbors, and develops a special bond with young Max Vandenburg.  A Jewish man her family is hiding with ties to her father Han’s past.

Liesal begins a love affair with books and words and uses them to both hurt others and breathe life into them.  I thought it was a great coming of age story of a sweet and clever girl trying to navigate her way in her new world.  She experiences incredible tragedy, and incredible loss, yet she perseveres.  She loves, and she loves hard.  Her spirit and fight are admirable.  I especially loved her bond with best friend Rudy, and Jewish hideout Max.  But the most special relationship was that between her and her father Hans, and her relationship with words.

It was a sweet, sad, yet uplifting story of love and survival.

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Written by Jade

Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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4 Responses to “Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak”

  1. Lekeisha says:

    I haven’t read this book, which I should have done before I watched the movie. It would have made me appreciate it more than I did. I’m hoping to have this book before the summer is over because I really want to read it.

  2. Jade says:

    I actually read the book because I had the movie on my DVR for months. And as I guessed, the book was definitely better than the movie!

  3. I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the book, always curious on checking it out.

    • Jade says:

      I had the book sitting on my shelf for the longest. I finally read it b/c I then had the movie on my DVR forever and wanted to go ahead and watch it.