The Book Thief

the book thiefZusak, Markus. The Book Thief. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. Print. ISBN 9780375831003; Hardcover; $16.95.

Annotation: Discover the power that words play for young Liesel Meminger in Germany during World War II.

Book review: Narrated by Death, The Book Thief, relays a story of a young girl, Liesel Meminger, brought to a foster family in World War II in Nazi Germany, she acquires her first book from the snow after burying her six-year-old brother.  He foster father Hans Hubermann teaches Liesel to read and in her thirst for words and escape, she begins a career of pilfering books.   Leisel gains purpose for each day and her life through first learning to read, then reading to others and finally writing her own story.

The Book Thief was addicting from the first few pages that foretold the three key moments that Death crossed paths with Liesel Meminger.  Zusak conveys the power of words to sooth and provide hope and survival in miserable circumstances.  He artfully paints pictures of the characters and the environment with colorful, poetic and descriptive command.  Zusak even manages to personify Death, not as wicked and evil, rather as one doing their job with a curiosity about humans and a small discernible degree of compassion.   The use of words by the author to create the world and life of Liesel Meminger, only punctuates the power of words that the story conveys.

A trailer for the movie currently in theaters (from YouTube)

This was an amazing read! ages 12+


(1 is poor and 5 amazing! )

GENRE: Historical Fiction 

LITERARY AWARDS (list acquired from Wikipedia):

  • 2006: Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (South East Asia & South Pacific)
  • 2006: Horn Book Fanfare
  • 2006: Kirkus Reviews Editor Choice Award
  • 2006: School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • 2006: Daniel Elliott Peace Award
  • 2006: Publishers Weekly Best Children Book of the Year
  • 2006: Booklist Children Editors’ Choice
  • 2006: Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book [4]
  • 2007: ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • 2007: Michael L. Printz Honor Book[5] The Printz award is given to the best book for teens, based only on the quality of the writing.
  • 2007: Book Sense Book of the Year
  • 2009: Pacific Northwest Young Readers Choice Master List[6]




One thought on “The Book Thief

  1. Pingback: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak | Therine is dying to read...

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