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The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

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

Liesel Meminger and her younger brother are being taken by their mother to live with a foster family outside Munich. Liesel's father was taken away on the breath of a single, unfamiliar word – Kommunist – and Liesel sees the fear of a similar fate in her mother's eyes. On the journey, Death visits the young boy, and notices Liesel. It will be the first of many near encounters. 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 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 accordion-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 Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down.

The Book Thief is a story about the power of words to make worlds. 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.

About the Author

Markus Zusak lives in Sydney with his wife. He has written four novels for young adults: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, When Dogs Cry and The Messenger. This is his first adult novel.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
The Book Thief
 
4.7

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well written (7)
  • Deserves multiple readings (6)
  • Inspirational (6)
  • Easy to understand (5)
  • Informative (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift (6)
    • Older readers (5)
    • Travel reading (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Bookworm (5), Everyday reader (3)

    Reviewed by 9 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-9

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    5.0

    The most wonderful book I've ever read

    By tricia

    from Sydney

    About Me Casual Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Well Written

    Cons

    • Unusual

    Best Uses

    • Gift

    Comments about The Book Thief:

    The imagary and language were fantastic

    Comment on this review

     
    3.0

    A good book to learn a bit of history

    By Ails

    from Enfield

    About Me Bookworm

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Informative
    • Inspirational
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • A treat for yourself

      Comments about The Book Thief:

      A good book that i have heard really good reviews about so I thought that I would buy it and see for myself. Also it is significant to my family history.

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      Don't judge a book by its cover

      By roadrunner

      from Australia

      About Me Bookworm

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Inspirational

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • A book for all ages
        • Gift

        Comments about The Book Thief:

        Love this book, bought this copy for my daughter to enjoy and own. Have recommended the book to many freinds who in turn have recommended it to others.
        Just brillant...

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        So much tradegy brilliantly, portrayed

        By Roma The Reader

        from Melbourne Australia

        About Me Bookworm

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Easy To Understand
        • Informative
        • Inspirational
        • Realistic
        • Relevant
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Book Groups
          • Older Readers

          Comments about The Book Thief:

          One of the best books I've read. Easy to imagine yourself in that situation. Characters extremely well depicted - I lived the book. Although about a very dark time, it did not depress me. I felt there was hope - ' I will hover genially over you.. Your soul will be in my arms' P 4.

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          amazingly written

          By Millicent

          from Western Australia

          About Me Bookworm

          Pros

          • Inspirational
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers
            • Travel Reading

            Comments about The Book Thief:

            one of my favourite books, very meaningful!

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            What a great read!

            By Keep on booking

            from Sydney

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Understand
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers
              • Travel Reading

              Comments about The Book Thief:

              This book was selected by a member of my book club and I am so glad that it was. It's not the sort of fiction that I normally read but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Would highly recommend.

              Comment on this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Absolutely wonderful,

              By Louise

              from queensland

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Understand
              • Informative
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Gift
                • Older Readers
                • Travel Reading
                • Younger Readers

                Comments about The Book Thief:

                Wonderful reading, insights into those difficult times in wartorn germany,easy reading, compelling

                Comment on this review

                 
                5.0

                best book ever

                By Nat

                from melbourne

                About Me Everyday Reader

                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Easy To Understand
                • Inspirational
                • Well Written

                Cons

                • Not A Single One

                Best Uses

                • Gift
                • Older Readers
                • Travel Reading
                • Younger Readers

                Comments about The Book Thief:

                amazing book

                Comment on this review

                 
                4.0

                Some truly great moments

                By p4peter

                from Sydney

                About Me Bookworm

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Easy To Understand
                • Inspirational

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Gift

                  Comments about The Book Thief:

                  It took me a long time to get around to reading this book. I just didn't believe the hype. It's not just a good book, it is a book about goodness and kindness. The story is moving and gently funny. Buy it and give it away.

                  Comment on this review

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                  ISBN: 9780330423304
                  ISBN-10: 9781406568660
                  Audience: General
                  Format: Paperback
                  Language: English
                  Number Of Pages: 592
                  Published: March 2008
                  Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.2  x 3.9
                  Weight (kg): 0.41

                  Markus Zusak

                  Australian author Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich and about Jews being marched through his mother’s small, German town. He always knew it was a story he wanted to tell.

                  At the age of 37, Zusak has already asserted himself as one of today’s most innovative and poetic novelists. With the publication of The Book Thief, he is now being dubbed a ‘literary phenomenon’ by Australian and U.S. critics. Zusak is the award-winning author of four previous books for young adults: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger, recipient of a 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature. He lives in Sydney.

                  Visit Markus Zusak's Booktopia Author Page